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Analysis/Plotting Software

Analysis/Plotting Software


Description: desk calculator, based on arbitrary precision math package


athena% dc commandfile

See also: gnome-calculator, nickle, xcalc


Description: interpreted, interactive programming language for real and complex numerical analysis. Can handle matrices in ways similar to matlab and octave, and comes with 2d and 3d plotting capabilities. Supplied with extensive libraries of numeric, statistical and graphics routines. Supports notebooks, similar to but less sophisticated than Mathematica notebooks


athena% euler &

There is an euler Web page

See also: gnuplot, J, Julia, Mathematica, matlab, nickle, octave, OpenModelica, PARI/GP, SAGE, scilab, yorick

Note: This application is no longer installed. You can install it temporarily (on a debathena-cluster machine) or permanently (on a debathena-workstation or non-Athena Ubuntu machine) but not on the Athena dialups by doing the following:

sudo to root and install from the euler Ubuntu package using aptitude or synaptic.


Description: image processing package based on Java and Java 3d which incorporates many analysis tool packaged as plugins and used primarily in the Life Sciences. Fiji is a repackaging of the ImageJ image analysis tool with many plugins preinstalled


athena% add imj-fiji

athena% fiji &

There are Fiji and ImageJ web pages; documentation is online and also available at the Fiji and ImageJ sites

See also: FWTools, trimage


Description: peak fitting application for experimental data. It can do nonlinear fits with analytic functions (Gaussian, Lorentzian, Voigt, Pearson VII, bifurcated Gaussian, EMG, Doniach-Sunjic and more). It also supports user-defined functions, a graphical user interface and a variety of optimization methods (standard Marquardt least-square, Genetic Algorithms, Nelder-Mead simplex), equality constraints, correcting for data baseline shift, dataset handling and automation of common tasks via scripts


athena% fityk & (for GUI interface)

athena% cfityk (for text interface)

There is a fityk Web page; documentation is online in the GUI version

See also: g3data

Note: This application is no longer installed. You can install it temporarily (on a debathena-cluster machine) or permanently (on a debathena-workstation or non-Athena Ubuntu machine) but not on the Athena dialups by doing the following:

sudo to root and install from the fityk Ubuntu package using aptitude or synaptic.


Description: Gephi is an interactive visualization and exploration platform for networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. It is used for:

  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Link Analysis
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Biological Network analysis
  • Poster creation


athena% add gephi

athena% gephi &

There is a Gephi Web page and documentation

See also: Cytoscape, GLE, gnuplot, Graphviz, xdot


Description: command-driven interactive function plotting program with scriptable command language


athena% gnuplot

athena% gnuplot file

(for internal commands, type gnuplot, followed by ? at the gnuplot> prompt; to run demos, copy /usr/share/doc/gnuplot-doc/examples directory to a location where you have write permission, cd to that location and type gnuplot any.dem

There is also an FAQ, documentation and gnuplot homepage

See also: euler, Gephi, GLE, GNU plot utilities, Grace, Graphviz, xdot, matplotlib, ParaView, SAGE, tecplot, TeXmacs


Description: GUI 2D mathematical plotting tool with internal plot description language


athena% xmgrace

There is a Grace homepage and User's Guide

See also: gnuplot, GNU plot utilities, tecplot , tgif

maple, mint

Description: multi-featured symbolic math program. mint is a debugger for Maple script files similar to lint for C programs


From Ubuntu Dash: type maple in Search box

From command line:

athena% add maple

athena% maple & (for traditional GUI; 32 bit only, not available on 64 bit Linux)

athena% & (for Java GUI)

athena% maple.tty (for text interface)

athena% mint scriptfile (to debug a a maple script)

There is an introductory Web-based interactive tutorial (MIT only)

There are release 18 User Manual, Programming Guide; also a support site called Maple Primes. You need to register before you can access it; instructions are here

There is a local Web page and What's New. For application examples, see the Maple Application Center. See also the Maple Advisor Database and newsgroup

Maple is available to members of the MIT community under our site license. Information is here.

See also: Mathematica, matlab, maxima, Reduce, SAGE, TeXmacs


Description: multi-featured symbolic math program

Licenses: we have 1000 floating licenses


From Ubuntu Dash:  type mathematica in Search box

From command line:

athena% add math

athena% mathematica  & (for Notebook/X interface)

athena% math (for text interface)

You can also create executable Mathematica scripts using MathematicaScript: create a file script.m contaning Mathematica commands, with first line:

#!/afs/athena/software/math/current/bin/MathematicaScript -script

and make it executable with:

athena% chmod +x script.m (this will use the "current" Mathematica version defined by the current link in the math locker)

There is an online information center, and Mathematica demonstrations; also 10.0 new features, a newsgroup and a revision history

Learning resources:

Mathematica Tutorial Collection

Mathematica Learning Center

Wolfram Education Group (for $ items, mentioning MIT site license qualifies MIT users for 30% discount)

The IMTEK Mathematica Supplement add-on is a collection of extra packages that offers enhanced functionality in a variety of domain areas, notably in partial differential equations representing physical systems and finite-element analysis. Examples in the supplement use the mesh generators EasyMesh, tetgen and triangle which have been installed on Athena. This is currently accessible only within Mathematica 5.2

To access the IMTEK Mathematica Supplement (5.2 only) , launch the help browser: Help -> Help Browser, and, from within the browser, search for IMTEK (you may need to run Help -> Rebuild Help Index first). There is extensive documentation and many examples

Mathematica is available to members of the MIT community under our site license. Information is here.

See also: CalculiX, EasyMesh, Elmer, euler, FreeFem++, Gerris Flow Solver, maple, matlab, maxima, OpenFOAM, OpenModelica, PARI/GP, Reduce, SAGE, TeXmacs, tetgen, triangl

matlab, simulink

Description: interactive "matrix lab" for data analysis tasks involving matrices, graphics and numerical computation. Includes specialized-subject "toolbox" extensions for many topics, including Control, Robust Control, Signal Processing and others

simulink is a modular package for analyzing dynamic digital signal processing systems


From Ubuntu Dash: type matlab in Search box

From command line:

athena% add matlab

athena% matlab [-ver 8.4] & (for terminal window launch, -ver switch for new 8.4 release)

athena% matlab [-ver 8.4] -desktop & (for desktop launch)

athena% matlab [-ver 8.4] -tty (for command-line launch)

(typing demo at the >> prompt will run through examples)

athena% simulink  [-ver 8.4] &

(typing doc at the >> prompt will launch the help system)

To access the Maple Symbolic Toolbox instead of the default Symbolic Toolbox, type one of the following lines in a terminal window and launch matlab from the command prompt (documentation is available from within the help browser):

athena% setenv MATLAB_SYMBOLIC maple (C shell users)

athena% export MATLAB_SYMBOLIC=maple (bash shell users)

There are release notes; what's new

There is latest version documentation at the MathWorks, documentation for using lpsolve add-on (Mixed Integer Linear Programming Solver), documentation for using snopt add-on (Constrained Linear or Nonlinear Optimization Solver) and newsgroup

See here in ipopt section for use of the ipopt nonlinear solver within MATLAB

There is also a portal to technical and scientific applications and FAQ

See also: GDL, euler, GNU Scientific Library, ipopt, IT++, Julia, LabVIEW, lpsolve, maple, Mathematica, Meep, Numerical Recipes, NumPy, octave, OpenModelica, Reduce, SAGE, scilab, snopt, TeXmacs

Note: Matlab is available for installation on student machines. Information is here. (MIT certificate and student status required).

Matlab is now available to MIT faculty, staff and students at no cost from IS&T Software Distribution (enter MATLAB in the Title field).


Description: Maxima is a version of the MIT-developed MACSYMA symbolic algebra system, modified to run under SBCL. Written in LISP, it allows differentiation, integration, solution of linear or polynomial equations, factoring of polynomials, expansion of functions in Laurent or Taylor series, computation of Poisson series, matrix and tensor manipulations, and two- and three-dimensional graphics


athena% maxima (for text interface)

athena% xmaxima (for GUI interface, incorporating live examples and online help)

(typing quit(); at the maxima prompt will exit the application)

Documentation is here; there is a maxima Website

See also: maple, Mathematica, PARI/GP, Reduce, SAGE, TeXmacs

Note: maxima can be launched from within TeXmacs to author documents containing nicely rendered formulas- see the tutorial; maxima is different from the commercial and now defunct macsyma


Description: desk calculator language with powerful programming and scripting capabilities. Nickle supports a variety of datatypes, especially arbitrary precision numbers. The input language vaguely resembles C


athena% nickle

There is an author Web page

See also: dc, euler, gnome-calculator, xcalc, yorick


Description: high-level language intended primarily for numerical computations; can solve linear and non-linear problems in a variety of application areas; easily extensible using its internal programming language, or by running dynamically loaded modules in C++ and C. Mostly compatible with matlab


athena% octave (to run octave)

athena% mkoctfile (to compile a C++ source file in octave syntax to file.oct binary, which can be run in octave)

There is an Octave home page, also an online manual and newsgroup; local documentation is at file:///usr/share/doc/octave3.2-htmldoc/interpreter/index.html and file:///usr/share/doc/octave3.2-htmldoc/liboctave/index.html

There is also a portal to technical and scientific applications

See also: GDL, euler, GNU Scientific Library, IT++, Julia, matlab, Numerical Recipes, scilab, TeXmacs

Note: octave comes with a large number of optional add-ons that are mostly part of the octave-forge project. There are too many for it to be practical to install them all; users should search for the desired ones in the Ubuntu Packages Search page (names start with octave-) and install the desired ones themselves


Description: data visualization and modeling application that can run in a variety of modes. Single-machine standalone mode is the only one currently supported on Athena. Uses Tcl/Tk as scripting language, is extensible and can read input data in a variety of formats. The underlying data processing and rendering engine is based on the Visualization Toolkit


athena% paraview

There is a ParaView home page and links to documentation and tutorials

See also: ac3d, blender, geomview, gnuplot, OpenDX, Open Inventor, tecplot, Visualization Toolkit

Note: This application is no longer installed. You can install it temporarily (on a debathena-cluster machine) or permanently (on a debathena-workstation or non-Athena Ubuntu machine) but not on the Athena dialups by doing the following:

sudo to root and install from the paraview Ubuntu package using aptitude or synaptic


Description: Computer Algebra system designed for fast computation in number theory (factorizations, algebraic number theory, elliptic curves...). It also contains a large variety of utility functions for computing with matrices, polynomials, power series, algebraic functions etc.. and standard numeric functions. It supports graphics output and can be linked as a C library ( The interactive shell (gp) supports an embedded scripting language (GP)

gp2c is an add-on for translating GP routines into C code that can be compiled and used within the PARI system or the gp calculator


athena% gp (to run interactive calculator)

athena% gphelp (to get manual)

athena% gp2c-run options (to compile/run code in

athena% gp2c > (to generate commented C code from

athena% gcc -O2 -o file -lm -lgmp -lpari (to compile file.c and link against

There is documentation and a PARI/GP Web page

See also: euler, Mathematica, maxima, SAGE, yorick


Description: system for statistical computation and graphics, with an internal programming language. It bears a passing resemblance to the S language developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and to the subsequent commercial splus application. RStudio is a GUI for R


athena% add r

athena% rstudio (GUI graphical interface)

athena% R (command-line interface)

(typing help.start() will start the html help system in your Web browser)

There is an Introduction, Language Definition, Data Import/Export Guide, Reference Manual and FAQ; also a guide to the Emacs modes (ESS). There is also an R search engine. We have added bioconductor to our R installation. RStudio documentation is here

The MIT libraries maintain a guide to statistical software with resources for learning R

See also: Biopython, BLAST, clustalw, emboss, hmmer, OpenRefine, sas, splus, stata

Note: R can be run from within Emacs; see the README.athena for information on how to set this up and use it; it can also be invoked from Mathematica; look up RLink in the Mathematica help system for details


Description: symbolic algebra system with many add-on packages


athena% add reduce

athena% reduce (for graphical interface)

athena% reduce -w (for text interface)

(typing bye; at the Reduce prompt will exit the application)

A local manual and primer are available; there are development and Web sites with additional documentation

See also: maple, Mathematica, Matlab, maxima

Note: Open Source Reduce is in early development and is likely to contain bugs. In particular, printing is known to not work. Please see the README.athena file for links to support resources and how to report bugs. Reduce uses gnuplot for plotting


Description: pure and applied mathematics system based on Python and incorporating notebooks and interfaces to many other non-commercial and commercial mathematics applications


athena% sage

(typing notebook() at the sage: prompt will open a notebook within your Web browser; the latter has links to online documentation and a tutorial)

There is a SAGE home page

See also: euler, gnuplot, Julia, maple, Mathematica, matlab, maxima, OpenModelica, PARI/GP, yorick

Note: This application is not installed and an older version in the sage locker is currently broken. You can install it from a PPA following these instructions but this won't work on debathena-cluster machines due to the large size of the package. It should install on debathena-workstation machines however

Note: If you get an error message like localhost:8000 uses an invalid security certificate perform the following steps:

  1. Start SAGE and type notebook() as described above
  2. In firefox, choose Edit -> Preferences
  3. Select the Advanced settings screen (it has a gear icon)
  4. Select the Encryption tab
  5. Choose View Certificates
  6. Click Add Exception...
  7. In the Location box, type https://localhost:8000
  8. Click Get Certificate
  9. Click Confirm Security Exception
  10. Click OK
  11. Click Close

You only need to do this once, not every time you launch SAGE


Description: comprehensive statistics package, incorporating many capabilities and features for data visualization, display and extraction

Licenses: we have 50 licenses


From Ubuntu Dash: type sas in Search box

From command line:

athena% add sas

athena% sas &

There is free online training for MIT users, a local Web page, local SAS tips, SAS documentation and resources for faculty and students

The MIT libraries maintain a guide to statistical software with resources for learning SAS

See also: OpenRefine, R, splus, stata


Description: scientific software package for numeric computation. Comparable to, but not an exact clone of matlab


athena% scilab

There is a Scilab home page, links to documentation and a newsgroup

See also the portal to technical and scientific applications

See also: euler, GNU Scientific Library, IT++, Julia, matlab, Numerical Recipes, octave, TeXmacs

Note: scilab can be run from within TeXmacs to produce nicely rendered formulas

This application is no longer installed. You can install it temporarily (on a debathena-cluster machine) or permanently (on a debathena-workstation or non-Athena Ubuntu machine) but not on the Athena dialups by doing the following:

sudo to root and install from the scilab Ubuntu package using aptitude or synaptic


Note: (old, maintenance has been discontinued; most users have moved to R)

Description: statistical data analysis and plotting package. Incorporates an internal programming language, with many built-in functions


athena% add splus

athena% splus

athena% splus -g & (for Java-based GUI, 32-bit only)

athena% splus -w & (for Eclipse-based Workbench)

athena% splus -bigdata (to run with Bigdata library)

athena% splus -j (for text interface with Java enabled for Java calls, graphics and help system)

(typing help() at the > prompt will give a help summary; typing help.start() will start a Java-based help system)

There is a local Web page; also: Getting Started, Programming Guide, Statistics Manual (part 1), Statistics Manual (part 2), User's Guide, 8.2 Release Notes

See also: R, sas, stata

Note: The Java GUI uses a large amount of memory- it may fail to launch properly or at all if you are running on a machine with less than 256 meg of memory, or if you have any other memory-intensive applications open


Description: statistical analysis package incorporating many tests, simpler to use than sas or splus

Licenses: we have 50 licenses


From Ubuntu Dash: type  stata in Search box

From command line:

athena% add stata

athena% xstata (GUI interface)

athena% stata (text interface)

athena% xstata-se (GUI interface, enhanced version)

athena% stata-se (text interface, enhanced version)

athena% stata -b do mybatchfile (to run batch file in batch mode)

There is a great deal of online help. Type help at the Stata . prompt, or pull down Help in xstata to get started; see also the Stata resources page. Selecting Help -> What's New? in xstata will describe new features in latest release. Online Stata discussion groups are at Stata forums

The MIT libraries maintain a guide to statistical software with resources for learning Stata

Online pdf manuals are now locally accessible, as are recent Stata Journal issues

stata is now available to members of the MIT community for institute or personal purchase at discounted pricing. Information is here

See also: OpenRefine, R, sas, splus

Note: Copies of the Stata Technical Bulletin, with software on diskette, are available. This publication provides a variety of customized statistical procedures in various application areas. Contact <> for details


Description: Advanced data plotting package that can do many types of 2d and 3d plots

Licenses: we have 25 floating licenses


From Ubuntu Dash: type tecplot in Search box

From command line:

athena% add tecplot

athena% tecplot &

There are various 360ex-14 R1 pdf manuals, a local Web page and vendor site and 360ex-14 R1 release notes

See also: gnuplot, Grace, matplotlib, ParaView

Note: If you are running Tecplot on a virtual machine or displaying it remotely, you may need to launch it with the -mesa flag to get rendering within the Tecplot window to work




Description: multi-function spreadsheet, with the ability to import and export files in native formats of other leading spreadsheets


athena% gnumeric &

athena% ssconvert options (to use spreadsheet format conversion utility --help switch gives usage info)

There is documentation

See also: sc, LibreOffice Spreadsheet, xess

LibreOffice Spreadsheet

Description: spreadsheet component of LibreOffice office suite


Click on LibreOffice Calc icon on Gnome applet bar

From command line:

athena% libreoffice & (select File -> New -> Spreadsheet)

For documentation look here

See also: gnumeric, sc, xess


Description: spreadsheet calculator based on rectangular tables


athena% sc

See also: gnumeric, LibreOffice Spreadsheet, xess


Note: (old; not recommended for new work)

Description: scientific spreadsheet for UNIX. Includes many internal functions and a C based API that allows full access to the spreadsheet capabilities


From Ubuntu Dash: type xess in Search box

From command line:

athena% add xess

athena% xess &

There is a local Web page, 5.0 HTML online help, 6.0 HTML online help

See also: gnumeric, LibreOffice Spreadsheet, sc