[SciPy-user] Matlab, Scipy and teaching science

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Thu Oct 20 15:16:49 CDT 2005


Prabhu Ramachandran wrote:
>>>>>>"Robert" == Robert Kern <rkern at ucsd.edu> writes:
> 
> 
>     Robert> At the recent SciPy '05 conference, Aric Hagberg told me
>     Robert> that he ran a student summer program at LANL where they
>     Robert> had to make a choice between purchasing Matlab licenses
>     Robert> for a few dozen students or using Python. Of course they
>     Robert> used Python. To help with the installation issue, they
>     Robert> built a Linux LiveCD with all of the relevant software
> 
> Is this live Linux CD available for download somewhere?  I'm sure a
> large number of folks would find this very useful. 

Not really.  It was prepared by Aric's excellent sysadmin for a course John 
Hunter and I taught this summer at LANL, at Aric's invitation.  We didn't go 
with Quantian because we wanted up-to-date versions of various things, in 
addition to making sure that all the class materials would be burned on the 
(ubuntu-based) CD.  This gave the students something to take home.

The admin did an amazing job: there being no 'student lab' at LANL, he burned 
these CDs both for x86 and PPC, and everyone just brought in a laptop, grabbed 
a CD from a stack for their architecture (PC or Powerbooks), and went to town. 
I was impressed to see 30 people go from zero to fully working workstation, 
with 100% guaranteed identical environments, across 2 chip architectures, in 3 
minutes (time to boot from CD).

This is an experience worth repeating and disseminating, but I imagine Aric is 
too swamped with other things to push it much.  You may want to contact him 
directly.

Regards,

f



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