Open source software was always a point of interest for BELGLAS. Semi professionals work together and generate an equivalent of commercial software. In this case, we discuss GNU Octave, which is an alternative of MATLAB.
Both products are used to solve mathematical problems with numerical methods. Everything is based on matrices but standard programming, like done with C and FORTRAN is also included. It is a script language, which means that every command is first interpreted and then executed , contrary to FORTRAN or C, where compiled programs are executed.
Developing a solution for a problem goes much faster with this software but execution is slower than with FORTRAN. If a certain solution works well with Octave but execution is too slow, reprogramming partially or completely is an option. The plotting software is also very easy to use and writing or reading data to/from a file is straightforward. A lot of Octave programs are already available in all kind of technical disciplines.
For the interest reader, there is the official website, where you can download the program and I found a tutorial on the internet. Even a more complete handbook could be found next to the official octave manual.