Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scientific graphing

Further to my earlier post on advanced graphing, here are a few more options.

Now and then students ask about getting SigmaPlot, Origin or similar high-end data analysis, plotting and graphing software. Unfortunately the main commercial products in this field are quite pricey. An academic license for SigmaPlot lists at US $549. Origin for one UofT PC costs $550. OriginLab does have much lower prices for Student Personal Use licenses, ($50/yr.), but you must pay with personal funds and the license can only be used on a student-owned computer (your own laptop or home PC, not an ECE PC.) OriginPro Student Personal Use license 

Fortunately, for any task as broadly required as this, we usually find a range of good, low- to no-cost software as well. Many may be less polished or have fewer features than the top commercial entries, but are well worth checking out first. Here are a few I've dug up so far:

The Licensed Software Office carries IBM SPSS, popular in the social sciences, for Windows, Mac and Linux at $80 for a one-year license (Aug.1-Jul.31) for Faculty and staff, or $60 per year (Oct.-Oct.) for students.

SciDAVis is free, open source software for 2D and 3D plots, available for Windows, Mac and Linux: SciDAVis feature summary.

The free statistical programming language called 'R'  has powerful graphing and plotting features, as I mentioned in my earlier post on advanced graphing. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

QTiPlot is a lower-priced alternative to Origin, SigmaPlot, SPSS etc. It has a variety of licensing options and pricing.

DPlot for Windows costs $195 and offers a time-limited free trial (output images contain a watermark).

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