Designing Foils with XFLR5

For any object moving through a fluid, forces are applied to the object as the fluid moves around it. A fluid can be something like water, or even something like the air around us. When the object is specifically designed to maximize the forces that the fluid can apply, you can designate these designs as airfoils. A more common name that most people would use is a wing. more>>

Solving ODEs on Linux

Many problems in science and engineering are modeled through ordinary differential equations (ODEs). An ODE is an equation that contains a function of one independent variable and its derivatives. more>>

Linux for Astronomers

I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. more>>

Designing with Linux

3-D printers are becoming popular tools, dropping in price and becoming available to almost everyone. They can be used to build parts that you can use around the house, but more and more, they also are being used to create instruments for scientific work. more>>

Computing without a Computer

I've covered a lot of various pieces of software that are designed to help you do scientific calculations of one type or another, but I have neglected a whole class of computational tools that is rarely used anymore. Before there was the electronic computer, computations had to be made by hand, so they were error-prone. more>>

What's Happening above Your Head?

In the past, I've covered various astronomy packages that help you explore the universe of deep space. But, space starts a lot closer to home. It actually begins a few hundred miles above your head. There are lots of things in orbit right above you. more>>

Getting Good Vibrations with Linux

Vibrations and wave motions describe many different physical systems. In fact, most systems that dissipate energy do so through waves of one form or another. In this article, I take a look at gvb (Good ViBrations,, a Linux application you can use to visualize and model wave motion and vibrations. more>>

Open-Source Space

As I write this, NASA has just passed another milestone in releasing its work to the Open Source community. A press release came out announcing the release on April 10, 2014, of a new catalog of NASA software that is available as open source. This new catalog includes both older software that was previously available, along with new software being released for the first time. more>>

Scientific Graphing in Python

In my last few articles, I looked at several different Python modules that are useful for doing computations. But, what tools are available to help you analyze the results from those computations? Although you could do some statistical analysis, sometimes the best tool is a graphical representation of the results. more>>

SciPY for Scientists

In my last article, I looked at NumPY and some of its uses in numerical simulations. Although NumPY does provide some really robust building blocks, it is a bit lacking in more sophisticated tools. SciPY is one of the many Python modules that build on NumPY's. more>>

Numerical Python

For the past few months, I've been covering different software packages for scientific computations. For my next several articles, I'm going to be focusing on using Python to come up with your own algorithms for your scientific problems. more>>

Linux Help for Neuroscientists

In past articles, I have looked at distributions that were built with some scientific discipline in mind. In this article, I take a look at yet another one. In this case, I cover what is provided by NeuroDebian. more>>

Taking Fractals off the Page

Fractals are one of the weirder things you may come across when studying computer science and programming algorithms. more>>

Tinker with Molecular Dynamics for Fun and Profit

Molecular dynamics computations make up a very large proportion of the computer cycles being used in science today. For those of you who remember chemistry and or thermodynamics, you should recall that all of the calculations you made were based on treating the material in question as a homogeneous mass where each part of the mass simply has the average value of the relevant properties. more>>

FreeMat—Yet Another MATLAB Replacement

Many programs exist that try to serve as a replacement for MATLAB. They all differ in their capabilities—some extending beyond what is available in MATLAB, and others giving subsets of functions that focus on some problem area. In this article, let's look at another available option: FreeMat. more>>

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