MATLAB Alternative - Generate Random Variables & Plot Complex Functions

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In summary, the conversation revolves around the need for a MATLAB alternative that does not require a license. Suggestions for open source software such as GNU Octave, Freemat, SciLab, and Julia are given, but they are considered to be weaker compared to MATLAB. The discussion also touches on the high cost of a MATLAB license and the vendor's arrogance towards criticism. The conversation ends with the confirmation that the price for an individual home user is around $1000, which is considered to be too high.
  • #1
EngWiPy
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Hi,

I need to use MATLAB to do some simulations on my laptop, but I don't have a license. Is there any other software I can use, that doesn't require a license? I mainly want to generate random variables, and plot functions that include exponential integrals and Bessel functions, and such non-basic functions. I know Mathematica, but it also requires a license.

Thanks in advnace
 
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  • #3
DrClaude said:
GNU Octave is basically a clone of Matlab.

Great! Downloading it. Thanks
 
  • #5
Thanks. Octave seems good and it has similar syntax to MATLAB. However, running a simple code, I noticed that I cannot save the figures in different formats (like .ps) as in MATLAB. But this is something minor, and I hope to find another way to include the figures in my LaTeX-based reports.
 
  • #6
You may also want to look at SciLab, a freeware item.
 
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  • #7
I didn't know about all these software! I will have to check them and make a comparison. I already downloaded Octave, and it seems good, but I will check the other suggested software. Thanks all for the suggestions. Much appreciated.
 
  • #8
Matlab has been around a long time. Its proprietary and they have extensive marketing and support to keep it on top. Students get a discount but companies pay a lot for it.

All the open source versions pale in comparison to the breadth and depth of Matlab.

The only serious open source competitors are Numerical Python and Julia. They are weaker in the IDE area though.

If someone marries Julia to Octave IDE then there’s a chance to really give a Matlab a run. Right now, Julia uses the Jupyter Notebook IDE which is awesome in its own way.
 
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Yes, MATLAB is a huge software and very powerful for matrix-based operations. I have used it in all my research. However, right now I am not doing research in an academic institution, and don't have access to a MATLAB software. I am just curious, how much does a MATLAB license cost for individual home user (not student)?
 
  • #10
EngWiPy said:
Yes, MATLAB is a huge software and very powerful for matrix-based operations. I have used it in all my research. However, right now I am not doing research in an academic institution, and don't have access to a MATLAB software. I am just curious, how much does a MATLAB license cost for individual home user (not student)?
I don't know a specific dollar amount, but it is far more than any individual wants to pay. This is one of my main objections to matlab; it is priced beyond reach.

My other objection is the arrogance of the vendor. They simply blow off criticism of their product. Some years back, I was employed at a US government lab, and they were absolutely fascinated with matlab, particularly in connection with Simulink. The results were always accepted without question; MATLAB said so, how could anyone ever say otherwise?

I devised a test problem, a simple ODE that is nearly impossible to correctly numerically integrate and ran it through matlab. It blew sky high, just as I expected. The MATLAB vendors simply denied the results, and I was considered a bad boy for shaking everyone's implicit faith in matlab.
 
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  • #11
Someone told me it is $1000, but I didn't believe him :)) I think if there is a competitor, the price will go down drastically, and they will be more open to criticism. But I find MATLAB is one of a kind software, and used heavily in large institutions, especially in academia.
 
  • #12
From their site, looks like $860 for an annual license, $2,150 perpetual license.
 
  • #13
EngWiPy said:
Someone told me it is $1000, but I didn't believe him :)) I think if there is a competitor, the price will go down drastically, and they will be more open to criticism. But I find MATLAB is one of a kind software, and used heavily in large institutions, especially in academia.
You can get prices from their website. As I live in the UK, the website will only give me UK prices which vary from £29 for a student to £1800 for commercial/government use (single-user perpetual excluding tax)

These are for the basic product only. They charge extra for add-on "toolboxes" which provide extra functions.
 
  • #14
On their website it says the online pricing is not available! So, it is true that its price is ~$1000. It is too much. Insane.
 

Related to MATLAB Alternative - Generate Random Variables & Plot Complex Functions

1. What is MATLAB Alternative and how is it different from MATLAB?

MATLAB Alternative is a software program that functions similarly to MATLAB, but with some key differences. It is an open-source program, meaning it is free to use and modify, whereas MATLAB is a proprietary software that requires a license. Additionally, MATLAB Alternative has a simpler user interface and is more lightweight, making it easier to use for basic scientific computations.

2. How can I generate random variables in MATLAB Alternative?

To generate random variables in MATLAB Alternative, you can use the "rand" function. This function takes in the number of random variables you want to generate and returns a matrix with those variables.

3. Can I plot complex functions in MATLAB Alternative?

Yes, you can plot complex functions in MATLAB Alternative. The "plot" function in MATLAB Alternative can handle complex numbers as inputs and will plot the real and imaginary parts separately.

4. How do I save and export plots in MATLAB Alternative?

You can save and export plots in MATLAB Alternative by using the "saveas" function. This function allows you to save the current figure in various formats, such as JPEG, PNG, or PDF.

5. Are there any limitations to using MATLAB Alternative?

While MATLAB Alternative is a great free option for scientific computing, it does have some limitations compared to MATLAB. For example, it may not have all the advanced features and toolboxes that MATLAB offers, and it may not be as robust for large-scale data analysis. However, for basic scientific computations, MATLAB Alternative is a great alternative to consider.

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