But now I must admit that MATLAB is very expensive software. And we should look around for other open-source mathematical computation environments. Today I'm biased because I prefer to invest time in general purpose language then in specialized computation languages (like MATLAB, R).
I've found very interested comparison (Mathesaurus):
Also, Hyperpolyglot provides nice comparison "Numerical Analysis Software: Fortran, MATLAB, R, NumPy".
Based on these two comparisons I've selected several factors for choosing the "right" numerical environments:
- Commercial or open-source
- Visualization possibilities
- Language itself (MATLAB, Maple, R, etc.): computational specific or general purpose (Python, Clojure/Incanter, etc. )
- Integration with Fortran/C/C++ etc.
- GUI features