Which software do you use for your numerical experiments? I am used to use GNU Octave for pure numerics, even if I play sometimes with Scilab, Python, GNU R, and Maxima for algebraics. Many people do not like Octave because it is command line oriented. Regarding these aspects, I was delighted to discover the quite exciting message below when updating my Debian distribution today. At long last, GNU Octave 3.8 comes with native QT GUI and JIT compiler. Give it a try!
octave (3.8.0~rc1-1) experimental; urgency=medium
* Starting with this version, the octave package now contains an
experimental graphical user interface (GUI) based on the Qt toolkit.
That GUI can be started by running the `octave-gui’ executable, or by
giving the `–force-gui’ option to the octave binary.
* For those who want to keep the lower memory footprint of a pure text
interface, there is the `octave-cli’ executable which is not linked
* Starting with this version, Octave incorporates a just-in-time (JIT)
compiler, which can offer performance improvements in some situations.
Since it is still experimental, the JIT is disabled by default, but
you can activate it with the `jit_enable’ command.