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FOSS for students

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on August 22, 2008 06:02 PM
Hmm I don't get it. As I've already finished college and used most of FOSS tools for everyday tasks. I can't forgive you you forgot most important and best tools/programs for students. I never tried wxMaxima but TiLp ?? Ok I understand this is a great emulator but not very useful for long numerical computations. Let's start first with programs for numerical computation.

One of the tools most math and probably also computer engineers use is Matlab. There is a version for Linux but unfortunately isn't free. And as always in Linux world there are alternatives. Very good alternative for Matlab is Octave which I used very often in my student years and I still use it but unfortunately on Windows system for work. Syntax for calculation is very similar or equal to Matlab syntax. Another great alternative for Matlab is Scilab. Best feature of this software is that it has some kind of IDE that is very useful. This 2 programs helped me a lot in my student years and I still find them very useful. Last but not least is Python. This requires some more programming skills but it's amazing what you can do with this language. If you load numpy in Python you can create very powerful numerical computations. It supports a lot of functions and syntax is very similar to Matlab. Best thing on Python is that you can with some knowledge of GUI programming and Matplotlib which is a great library create very powerfull programs for analysis. Want to do some online computation of sampled data with let's say databases ?? Just use Python !

Writing math equations isn't very easy task. Especialy if you have to write em a lot. One of the solutions is Open Office Math that is quite good.There are even better solutions . One of them is LaTex but you have to know it's syntax and that could be very time consuming task. Best option for writing math formulas is in my opinion Lyx. My thesis was written completely in Lyx and I've never regretted to start learning this program. It's front end for latex and has very large community.

This programs are powerful tools in science and research environments. I believe there are plenty other solutions but I mentioned those I've tested and used as a student.


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