Octave, a freely redistributable software, is used for numerical computation with an interactive environment. Students pick up the basics quickly, comfortably using it within just a few hours. High-level language application intended primarily for numerical computations and other numerical experiments using a language that is compatible with Matlab. It is customizable with user-defined functions written in Octave's language or C++, C, Fortran or others. |
Octave is not a utility limited to the classroom. The courseware package can be used for many other things from chemical reactor design problems, to enabling students to solve realistic problems. It's used worldwide in commercial applications, research and teaching. Octave also keeps pace with Matlab, adding functions as they are developed.
Octave can do arithmetic for real, complex or integer-valued scalars and matrices, it solves sets of nonlinear algebraic equations, integrates functions over finite and infinite intervals, and integrates systems of ordinary differential and differential-algebraic equations. It can be run on nearly any platform and has LSODE and DASSL built into the interpreter.
Octave provides support via a mailing list for questions not adequately dealt with in the 575 page manual. The interpreter works in along with gnuplot and Grace software, creating two-and three dimensional plots, graphs, and charts that can be saved or printed.
Since Octave was built to be compatible with Matlab it shares many of the features. These include powerful built-in math functions, extensive function libraries and built-in support for complex numbers. With its user-friendliness, this open source application has proven to be very useful to teach programming to students who haven't studied computer science.