SIO 221C:  Software Options

Matlab is the software package that students most often use for this course, but you are free to choose any software package or combination of packages that you like, provided that you can carry out computations, invert matrices, and plot results. (  Alternatives to Matlab include:
Python: a freeware modular, objected oriented programming language.   (
Octave: a freeware imitator of Matlab, uses almost the same commands.   (
Scilab: another freeware imitator of Matlab (
Fortran, c, or c++:  compiled languages.  Run faster than Matlab for some applications,
Lapack/linpack:  Fortran-based matrix inversion packages. (
csh, awk, perl:  Non-compiled scripting languages.  Sometimes very efficient for transforming columns of numbers.  (Not good for matrix inversion.)
GMT:  Generic Mapping Tool.  Free unix command-line software developed for geophysical graphics. (
Your advisor should be providing you with the software resources that you need for your research, but if you find that you need a copy of Matlab (either for your office or for your personal computer), you can buy the student version at the UCSD bookstore.  You may also want to buy the student version as a way to get a full set of manuals.  Matlab also used to offer a "student edition", which prohibited large matrices---you'd want to avoid that.