[Beowulf] Teaching Scientific Computation (looking for the perfect
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Nov 20 16:09:04 PST 2007
Jim Lux wrote:
>> Octave: http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/
> Octave is nice, but.... the graphics are MUCH better in Matlab, and
Agreed. Octave uses Gnuplot which is OK.
> there's all those toolboxes full of cool stuff (signal processing,
> control systems, maps, etc.)
Octave has quite a few as well, though they are not identical to the
> And, an academic license for Matlab is only $100. That's less than the
Anyone need an adjunct ... :) I was under the impression that the
license fees were much stiffer than that. For a cluster, $100*N for N =
16 .. 32 is not bad at all. Or am I missing something.
> textbook likely costs. Granted Matlab isn't quite as cool as the
> symbolic manipulators. It's sort of like a procedural programming
> language in an interpretive/JITcompile environment with a HUGE and
> useful subroutine library.
FWIW: I played around with Matlab the first time in 1988. It was quite
nice, though it was slow.
> I also ran across an interesting Matlab program/application that did
> *symbolic* manipulation of the matrices in linear circuit theory.
> Matlab isn't the most pleasant environment for string manipulation, and
> this was an amazing work of art and craft in many dimensional arrays of
Give someone a good, powerful, flexible tool, and get out of their way.
Lower barriers to use. This has become somewhat of a mantra with me
as of late.
>> After taking students through the joys of programming, I showed them
>> how to do masses with springs on Octave. What a difference. As Jim
>> Lux noted, you spend less time dealing with the vagaries of the
>> language and more time helping them articulate a solution (though this
>> particular example is bad in that you have many signs you need to
>> correctly and carefully account for ... sign errors are a bear in any
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
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phone: +1 734 786 8423
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