4 Free and Open Source Alternatives of Matlab

Matlab’s easy to use interface, its power, and flexibility definitely make it a deservingly popular and useful software. But admit it, in bad times this propitiatory software can burn your pocket! So here we bring 4 free and open source alternatives of Matlab which can help you do the same work or even better at zero cost! Enjoy!
Atithya Amaresh

1. Scilab: This is Free Software used for numerical computation. It also comes with a high-level programming language. Scilab began as a university project, but has since become much more than that. Its development is presently sponsored by Scilab Enterprises, which also provides paid professional services around the application.

(Help to understand the difference between Scilab and Matlab:http://www.infoclearinghouse.com/files/scilab19.pdf) 

2. GNU Octave: Popularly known as Octave, its official website describe it as, “High-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems, and for performing other numerical experiments. It also provides extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation.”
(Help to understanding difference between GNU & Matlab:http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/~bbaas/6/notes/notes.diffs.octave.matlab.html)

It's one of the best free software for that kind of job and you rarely have to employ Matlab. There are many workarounds for examples the slow loops can be replaced by precompiled modules written in C.

3. Sagemath also known as Sage, is a unified interface of a suite of more than 100 Free Software applications. These apps put together becomes a suitable alterbative of Matlab for elementary to advanced number theory, cryptography, numerical computation, commutative algebra, group theory, combinatorics, etc.
Sagemath’s UI described it as, “A notebook in a web browser or the command line. Using the notebook, Sage connects either locally to your own Sage installation or to a Sage server on the network. Inside the Sage notebook you can create embedded graphics, beautifully typeset mathematical expressions, add and delete input, and share your work across the network.”
Understand more benefits of sage here: http://www.sagemath.org/tour-benchmarks.html

4. Genius: Popular as Genius Math tool (GMT), one is another alternative of Matlab with some cool features. The tool offres a built-in interactive programming language called GEL (Genius Extension Language). This started as a simple GNOME calculator, but morphed into something more powerful and useful.
GMT's website officially described it as: “General purpose calculator program similar in some aspects to BC, Matlab, Maple or Mathematica. It is useful both as a simple calculator and as a research or educational tool. The syntax is very intuitive and is designed to mimic how mathematics is usually written.”
Here's a resource to understand Genius better: http://www.jirka.org/genius.html


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