It is a long time I’m back into Mathematics. Time has changed a lot. There are abundance of resources available for students of Mathematics out there in Internet which is almost unthinkable before a decade. Life is so easy. No need to run for the Library just to get familier with that Definition or Theorem.
I remember loading dozens of diskettes just to run Mathematica or Maple and with absolutely no resources to know how to get that thing or this thing done.
I’m greatly indebted to open source comunity to see a vast amount of software and learning resources available today just in a click away.
Following are some software I found very useful and at the same time seems very advanced. I’m yet to explore them more but the first impression dive me into writing this.
R – A statistical package that helps you do all that satistics computing and graphics. apt-get install r-base would do all the installing. It is said that this can do anything provided by it’s commercial counterpart S-Plus.
maxima – A CAS(Computer Algebra System) tool which has great support for numerical and symbolic representations. It has several GUI frontend tools like wxmaxima and mascyma. apt-get install maxima will do all the installation. The closest proprietary counterpart is Maple.
scilab – This is also a great numerical tool for doing any complex computation. The closest proprietary software is Matlab.
There are so many more great tools like Octave, Euler, Sage, Freemat etc etc.
I particularly found that GNU Octave scripts are compatible with Matlab for most of my purposes. Where it is not compatible I could find workarounds pointed by other users.
I also came across a great OpenOffice spreadsheet macro plugin called OOStat which is a very useful basic statistical package.
More on these tools as I experiment with these