Open Source MATLAB Replacements

Many engineers, scientists and engineering students are familiar with the MATLAB product which is used for complex mathematics and mathematical modeling. I recently came across two open source (and free) alternatives. Octave was originally written as a companion to a chemistry textbook being written by professors from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas and has grown from there. Octave is available for a wide variety of systems from OS/2 to Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

Another option is SciLab. SciLab is about the same age as Octave but is clearly managed by a consortium and seems especially popular in European countires. Similarly, it is available for many systems such as Windows, Linux and Macintosh.

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