Computing Options

All of the software we will use is open source, and it might be most convenient to get everything running on your own laptop. This should be possible if it’s a Mac or Linux machine. Windows does not work well for some of the things we’ll be doing with Clawpack. (But you could perhaps use Docker, see below.)

See Downloading and installing software for this class for some tips on installing.


SageMathCloud (SMC) is a freely available cloud computing resource developed by the Sage Team, led by Prof. William Stein in the UW Mathematics Department. You can easily create an account at SageMathCloud.

All of the software needed this quarter is installed on SageMathCloud, with the exception of Clawpack. (A version of the PyClaw tools are installed, but we will need a more recent version, and the Fortran packages.)

SMC might be particularly useful for collaborating with other students, e.g. during lab sessions or on the project. However, you should also be able to use Git for collaboration.

For some tips on using it, see Using SageMathCloud.

Docker image

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