Scilab is a cross-platform and open source project that provides users with a numerical computation software for the GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. It can be used for teaching mathematics, automatic control engineering, and engineering sciences in high schools.
Features at a glance
Key features includes over 1.700 mathematical functions, 2 D and 3D graphics/animation, linear algebra, signal processing, sparse matrices, statistics, non-differentiable and differentiable optimization, ODE and DAE solver, approximation, and LMI optimization.
It also features polynomials, interpolation, rational functions, a hybrid dynamic systems simulator and modeler, robust and classic control, as well as interfaces for various programming languages, including C, C++, Fortran, Java, and LabVIEW.
Another interesting feature is the ability to annotate (LaTeX and MathML), visualize and export data to PDF, SVG, PNG, FIG, PPM, EPS, and EMF file formats using the integrated graphics functions.
Additionally, it comes with a plethora of toolboxes that can be used on different tasks. Among them, we can mention Scilab Image Processing Toolbox (SIP), Equalis Signal Processing module, Scilab MySQL, Scilab Wavelet Toolbox, Scilab Java and .NET module, Equalis Communication Systems module, Scilab Remote Access module, and SoftCruncher Performance Accelerator.
Under the hood, supported platforms and availability
The program is written in the C, C++, Java and Fortran programming languages. It has been designed from the ground up to support Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, running on both 64-bit and 32-bit architectures.
To run the program on any GNU/Linux distribution you will need a computer with a Pentium III class (or equivalent) with SSE instructions processor, at least 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended), and at least 550MB free disk space.
Summing up, Scilab is a really great software for numerical computation, especially because it supports all modern operating systems and hardware platforms, and because it is completely free and open source.