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Interactive Math Tools


Mathematica is used for symbolic computation and complex analysis as well as 2D and 3D graphics and programming. Mathematica creates fully customizable, publication-quality, cross-platform electronic and printed documents with professional mathematical typesetting quality, and it also generates Web-ready documents.

Mathematica (version 10.3.1) is now available as an application only on OCF and SCF Intel x86 CPU production systems. it is not available on Power9/8 systems like Lassen, or Ray.

Mathematica offers a choice of two interfaces: a text interface and a GUI interface. No initialization file is needed to use Mathematica. To start the text interface, type


There are a limited number of licenses on each LC host. If you log into the program and no license is available, you will receive a message indicating that the license limit has been reached or that no license was returned.

To use the GUI interface, log on using an X terminal or Xterm simulator and type:


Note that on TOSS 3 clusters (e.g. quartz, borax), you will first need to type:

module load mathematica

in order to get the mathematica and math commands into your path.

On TOSS 2 clusters, Mathematica is located at /usr/local/bin/mathematica (which is really a link to /usr/global/tools). On TOSS 3 clusters, it is located at /usr/tce/packages/mathematica.

Batch usage:


# Moab Job Script for MathKernel LC Linux Systems
#MSUB -N Mathematica
#MSUB -l nodes=1,walltime=00:10:00
#MSUB -m ae

echo "Information about the job:"
pstat -n $SLURM_JOBID

echo "Started batch processing at 'date'."
math -noprompt -run '<<pi.m'
echo "Ended batch processing at 'date'."

exit 0


To read more about Mathematica, consult Stephen Wolfram's Mathematica, A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer, which is considered the definitive source. The vendor Web site for Mathematica features introductory and tutorial background and offers support and help. The Mathematica Journal is free and publishes articles about Mathematica techniques and applications.


MATLAB is an interactive matrix "laboratory" developed and distributed by MathWorks. It is used for tasks involving matrices, graphics, and general numerical computation. There are numerous user-developed packages for MATLAB that can be downloaded from the Internet.

To run the latest available version of MATLAB using the GUI, log on to an LC Linux system using an X terminal or Xterm simulator, and type


(or, to access a non-default version, use the path name /usr/local/tools/matlab/matlabnn where nn is the version number). You can reach MATLAB's help documentation by typing help_win at the MATLAB prompt. A separate window opens and provides a list of help topics. Click the help topic you want to get more information. You can also type helpdesk or visit the MathWorks Web site. There is also a command-line interface for MATLAB.

If all MATLAB licenses are being used, you will receive a warning telling you to "get a valid password."

For additional information, visit the vendor Web site for MATLAB.


Octave is a high-level interpreted language primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems and for performing other numerical experiments. It also provides extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation. Octave is normally used through its interactive command-line interface, but it can also be used to write non-interactive programs. The Octave language is quite similar to MATLAB so that most programs are easily portable.

To use Octave, log onto an LC Linux Cluster system and type