free Mathematica substitute?

Tom Panning tpanning at
Tue Aug 27 18:36:44 PDT 2002

I'm taking a Numerical Analysis class, and my professor said that we can use 
whatever program we want to do the projects. He said that Mathematica and 
Matlab are the more popular choices, but he said that he has had students 
manage to do the projects with Excel.

I would rather avoid the cost of Mathematica (even the student price) if I 
can. I'm used to programming C/C++/Java/etc., so I don't mind a program that 
requires the user to understand programming concepts. I just need something 
that will get me through both semesters of Numerical Analysis. I'd also like 
it to be able to produce some kind of graphs when applicable (I've found that 
these help me understand what's really going on in math).

Does anyone have experience with such a program? I could search freshmeat to 
get a list, but I want to know how good the various programs really are.

Tom Panning
tpanning at

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