SciLab and Engineering

Recently I’ve made a major change in my life direction.

I’ve mentioned it before. I am pursuing an engineering degree. One of my favorite things in the whole world is open source software. Not just because its free. But ever since I was in high school, the notional of editable software has really intrigued me. I’ve never done much with it other than use it. But, there is a mathematical programming suite called Scilab that functions similarly to a very useful, but very expensive program called Matlab.

As a student I’ve already become very acquainted with Matlab, but Scilab has intrigued me greatly. The big critique of it that I’ve heard from several people is “it doesn’t have the horsepower necessary to do serious projects.” Nevertheless, I’ve used it to teach basic programming skills to the computer club at the high school where I work. But then, last week I heard about this:

Scilab Enterprises is proud to announce that Scilab, open source software for numerical computation, has been used during Philae’s comet landing mission.

Anyway, this forced me to redouble my efforts to master this platform. In the meantime, I’m still learning C++, Fortran, and Matlab. But, don’t let anybody tell you that open-source software cannot be used in a serious fashion. Heck, I wrote all of my papers my first time through college in open-office. Anyhow, don’t fear open source soft-ware.

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