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Purchase Matlab

  1. Oct 8, 2008 #1
    I am a part-time online graduate engineering student, and am required to use Matlab for some of my homeworks but do not know where I can purchase or obtain it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2008 #2
    There are no longer student versions of matlab that students can purchase. Most schools will have computers in their labs with Matlab loaded onto them that you can use. Since that probably won't work for you, I suggest you read my PM.
     
  4. Oct 9, 2008 #3

    cristo

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  5. Oct 9, 2008 #4
  6. Oct 9, 2008 #5

    minger

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    May I also suggest one of the free alternatives such as Octave
    http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/
     
  7. Oct 13, 2008 #6
    Scilab is another option. whether it would be compatible with the homework assignments is another story.
     
  8. Oct 13, 2008 #7
    Scilab and Octave have no where near the power that matlab does. They are just simple CAS/matrix solvers and are just about worthless for any extensive scientific calculations.
     
  9. Oct 13, 2008 #8
    i don't think that's anywhere close to being true, Topher925. i used matlab quite a bit several years ago, and the main benefit to matlab is the large collection of Toolboxes that you can buy at extra expense to perform the operations you want. but those Toolboxes were just scripts that you could write yourself if you knew what you were doing. not sure if they still issue Toolboxes as scripts or if they're compiled libraries now for the speed benefit. but what you get out of it is what you put into it.
     
  10. Oct 14, 2008 #9

    minger

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    One could argue that Matlab is "worthless" for real extensive scientific calculations as well.
     
  11. Oct 14, 2008 #10
    And how could one support that argument? Matlab has a built in C-compiler which can compile matlab code into C code for increased speed. Matlab's power doesn't just come from its ability to compute numbers, but its tools and abilities to show that data as well. AFAIK, Octave of Scilab don't have animation tools or matlab's rendering capabilities.

    ProtonSoup, I think they have gone a step above just script files for toolboxes. For example, I don't believe the symbolic or polynomial toolboxes are just script files but actual add-ons that need to be installed. Thats the way it is on my computer anyway.
     
  12. Oct 14, 2008 #11
    well, i'm not going to deny that matlab has the better product. they should, they've got a staff of people devoted to making it so. but if you can't afford or justify purchasing it, i think Scilab is the next best thing out there. Octave is also popular, but IMO a lot of that has to do with it being under a GNU license. even though Scilab is available for free use, it's license is not "free enough" for some of the die-hard open source fans. so they will choose a less capable product simply on principle.
     
  13. Oct 15, 2008 #12
    Since the Octave code, for simple homework calculations, is the same as Matlab, I'd just download Octave for the time being. It will in 99% of the cases mean that you can run the scripts also at the school - or if your online teachers will want to see and run the script, it should work.

    If you ever need to do anything other than make simple .m scripts, then consider another program, or buying Matlab.
     
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