I’m looking for some sort of mathematics software to do wondrous things like numerical integration and solving differential equations beyond what I’m limited too with my current software, that would be the spread sheet program from open office. I would prefer something that runs on linux and doesn’t cost much. I noticed that there are atleast a few people around here from the scientific community and I’m hoping that someone can point me in the direction of a good program. I would just go buy mathematica or one of the other similar programs but they are a bit spendy and I would prefer to hold on to that money.

See Mathematics software for Linux. I suggest you check out MuPAD; you may be eligible for a free license if you fit the criteria (e.g. private non-commerical use). However, even the commercial version is less expensive than comparable programs like Maple or Mathematica; see MacKichan. I gather that Wolfram Research’s CalculationCenter is to be ported to Linux, but I don’t know when. (BTW, I review mathematics software for Scientific Computing World).

Forgot to mention: if you don’t mind non-Linux software, CalculationCenter and Derive are both good value.

Second afterthought: I see from your resume that you’re a student. In that case you definitely qualify for the free MuPAD (MuPAD 2.5 for Linux 2.x) and major student discounts on other packages.

Comparison of mathematical programs for data analysis

The survey above is fairly comprehensive and even includes MuPad. Since it was done 11 months ago, and it does not include Mathematica 5.0, the latest version, but it uses 4.2 instead.

Yep, things have changed a bit. Macsyma is pretty well defunct. Note also that the above link is for data analysis - i.e. largely statistics - not the symbolics and general mathematics that **shaneomac** wants. S-Plus is purely a stats package; Matlab is a more of programming language for manipulating matrix-based data, O-Matrix a clone of it, and Ox rather similar. The big names in the symbolics program market are Mathematica, CalculationCenter, Maple, Mathcad and MuPAD, with Derive and LiveMath as smaller players.

This is a longshot, but if you have access to a university bookstore you may be able to get your hands on a Springer-Verlag Yellow Sale catalog. They *occasionally* include special deals on mathematical software; I got a limited version of Maple through them for $60 a couple of years ago. For Maple, that’s a *steal*.

(Of course, that doesn’t beat free MuPad, but I thought I’d mention it.)