A Month of Math Software – May 2012

June 2nd, 2012 | Categories: Month of Math Software | Tags:

Welcome to the slightly delayed May edition of A Month of Math Software.  The archives can be found at http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?cat=47 and if you have any news for next month then feel free to contact me.

Wolfram SystemModeler

Wolfram Research have released a new product called SystemModeler, a model based design and simulation tool that occupies the same space as products such as The Mathwork’s Simulink, Maplesoft’s Maplesim, and the free Scilab add-on, xcos.

Mathematical libraries

  • The Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) released a new version of the commercial NAG Library for SMP and multicore.  This is a version of their Fortran library which includes a few hundred routines that have been optimised for multicore processors.  The latest release, Mark 23, adds an extra 116 routines (some of them have been written up in detail) bringing the total number of functions to 1704. A total of 337 have been parallelised to make use of multicore processors.  I played with this library when it was at Mark 22.
  • Version 1.2 of Magma, the linear algebra library for NVIDIA GPUs has been released. The OpenCL version, clMAGMA has also seen an update in version 0.2.

General Purpose Mathematics

  • Version 5.0 of Sage was released on 14th May; go to the changelog to see what’s new.  Sage is a superb free alternative to Mathematica, Maple or MATLAB based on the Python programming language and over 100 other open source projects.  If you’ve never heard of Sage, these Videos serve as a good introduction.
  • Version 5.27 of Maxima has been released.  Maxima is a free computer algebra system that’s available for all major operating systems and it is very capable.  Features include symbolic calculus, linear algebra, plotting and arbitrary precision arithmetic.  There is a post here on Walking Randomly on how to use it to plot direction fields for 1st order ODEs.
  • A new version of SMath Studio, the free Mathcad-like clone, is now available.  Version 0.94.4535 adds a couple of new features to a great program; Linux and Windows versions are available.
  • The Euler Math Toolbox (A free, MATLAB-like language) is now at version 15.6.  See http://euler.rene-grothmann.de/versions/version-15.html for the new stuff

Data Analysis

  • R-Studio, the fantastic free Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the statistical programming language R has been updated to version 0.96.  New features include code-folding (click here for video), lots of new Sweave features (Sweave is a tool that allows to embed the R code for complete data analyses in latex documents) and more. See this blog post for all of the details.
  • Excelis have updated their commerical Interactive Data Language (IDL).  See what’s new in version 8.2 at http://www.exelisvis.com/ProductsServices/IDL/VersionUpdate.aspx I also recently learned of a free implementation of the IDL language — The GNU Data Language — which last saw a release in February of this year.
  • A new beta of NCL (NCAR Command Language) is now available.  NCL is a free interpreted language designed specifically for scientific data analysis and visualisation.  There is an extensive what’s new page which gives the details of Version 6.1 .0-beta.
  • The Perl Data Language (PDL) has seen a minor update to 2.4.11


  • Numpy 1.6.2 has been released.  Numpy is the fundamental package for scientific computing with Python.  This is a bug-fix release with details available in the README.txt file

Mobile math software

  1. NAGfan
    June 11th, 2012 at 20:45
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Talking of news… Probably old news to most, but I think I missed this some months back and perhaps I was not the only one. NAG continue to keep up with the latest Fortran standards with the 5.3 release of the NAG Fortran Compiler. See http://www.nag.co.uk/nagware/np.asp if you’re interested.
    Great that it also supports a useful subset of openMP… I’ll be pushing them for more. Waiting for their Windows version release which is rumoured to see a 64 bit Win as well as 32 bit Win version of Fortran Builder.