[Beowulf] Teaching Scientific Computation (looking for the perfect text)

Jim Lux james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Nov 20 16:28:35 PST 2007

Quoting Joe Landman <landman at scalableinformatics.com>, on Tue 20 Nov  
2007 04:09:04 PM PST:

> 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.

Gnuplot is fine until you want to do something like plot the time  
varying electric field around an antenna in 3D with little arrows  
showing the Poynting vector.  I did start writing a little library to  
take the output of NEC (EM modeling code) and generate POVray input  
files from it. But I got distracted by other things.

>> 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
> Matlab versions.
>> 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.

That's the price for a student getting a copy for their own machine.   
They have other schemes for students running on university owned  
machines, etc. (all carefully designed to avoid rampant illegal  
copying, I'm sure)

You do raise an interesting question.  Would one student running an  
application on N machines need N copies under their academic student  

And, most universities, I'm told, require undergrads to have a  
computer (even a certain type of computer).. how long before they're  
required to have a cluster.


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