In my last post I talked about using MatLab to help with teaching multivariable calculus at Reykjavik University. Well, what happened was that Mathworks, the makers of MatLab, were dragging their feet in getting us the Symbolic Toolbox for MatLab (needed for defining and working with variables); so we decided to switch to some other computer algebra system. The open-source SAGE came out on top from the choices we had. I’ve been working with it for two weeks now and I can honestly say that it is friggin’ awesome! Here are a few good reasons to try it out:

- It’s free.
- It can be run locally on a Mac, PC or Linux; or through the SAGE website: They give you a free account and you can access your computations from anywhere. Has anyone tried it on their iPhone?
- It combines the power of many open-source math packages like Maxima, R, Singular, etc. and can interface with programs such as MatLab, Mathematica, etc.
- It is built on Python which makes coding really nice and simple.
- It is actively developed and growing fast.

Give it a spin!