Directory of Numerical Software


This is a small, hand-maintained, directory of numerical software: spreadsheets, statistical analysis software, computer algebra systems (CASes), matrix/tensor-based packages, etc.


  • MATLAB (Wikipedia Entry) - a commercial and non-open-source, very comprehensive package, which runs on Windows, Linux and other UNIXes.
  • GNU Octave (Wikipedia Entry) - an open-source (GPLed) and incomplete MATLAB clone.
  • SciPy - a package offering similar tensor-based functionality for the Python programming language.
  • PDL - The Perl Data Language - a package offering tensor-based functionality for the Perl programming language.
  • IDL (Wikipedia Entry) - a programming language used for data analysis. Seems much more limited and baroque than Matlab and friends.


  • Microsoft Excel - part of Microsoft Office, a proprietary and commercial spreadsheet program which is still considered the de-facto standard. Available for Microsoft Windows with a different version for Mac OS X with a different (more limited?) functionality.
  • Calc - part of, a gratis, open-source and cross-platform office suite. Can read and export many proprietary spreadsheet formats.
  • Gnumeric - a free and open source and cross-platform spreadsheet program from the GNOME project.
  • Calligra Sheets - an open source and cross-platform spreadsheet program that is part of the Calligra Suite that is part of the KDE project.
  • SIAG - an open source lightweight spreadsheet for POSIX-like systems that is part of the Siag Office suite.

Computer Algebra Systems (CASes)

  • Mathematica (Wikipedia Page) - a comprehensive commercial and proprietary CAS.
  • Maple - a comprehensive, commercial, and proprietary CAS. Allows editing a proof in Mathematical notation.
  • Maxima - an open-source and free-of-charge CAS written in Lisp.
  • Sage - a comprehensive open-source mathematics software application based on Python and many other programs. Very large download with all the dependencies included in the package.
  • Axiom - a comprehensive CAS for UNIX systems, with instructions on how to set it up on Windows. Open-source.
  • Mathomatic - an open-source (LGPLv2.1) CAS written in the C programming language.

Statistical Software

  • R - an open-source and gratis program for Statistics. Should be very complete.
  • S-PLUS/S+ - a commercial statistics package, implementing the same “S” language as “R”.


  • GMP - GNU Multiple Precision - a library for bignums, supporting big integers, big rationals and big floats. LGPL licence (open source).
  • The GNU MPFR Library - a “library for multiple-precision floating-point computations with correct rounding” based on GMP. LGPL licence (open source).
  • GNU Scientific Library (GSL) - a numerical library for C and C++ programmers. GPLed (technically open-source, but restrictive).
  • PARI/GP - a library for fast computations in number theory and other functions like Matrices, polynomials , power series and algebraic numbers. GPLed (technically open-source, but restrictive).


Graphical (GUI) Calculators

  • Qalculate - an open-source desktop calculator with KDE and gtk+ interfaces (primarily for UNIX systems).
  • SpeedCrunch - an open-source and cross-platform (UNIX / Windows / Mac OS X) GUI calculator. Appears to be of smaller scope than Qalculate.
  • Genius Mathematics Tool and the GEL Language - a general purpose calculator program similar to BC or Matlab. Open source, GPLv3.

Command Line Calculators

  • GNU bc and GNU dc - limited infix and reverse-polish-notation (RPN) calculators for the command-line, as specified in the POSIX standard.
  • Hoc - short for “higher order calculator” - an open-source (BSD-licensed) command line calculator and interpreted programming language, with several extended versions. Was used as a demonstration language in the book The Unix Programming Environment.


Creative Commons License

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2011, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version of that licence).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.