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Computing Resources for UOphysics

There are numerous computing resources available on campus and within the Physics department. This page should serve as a resource for information about obtaining access to hardware and software through user accounts, licenses, and usage schedules. Programs not specific to UO, but that are generally found to be useful may also be included here.


Here is a page about Physics And UO Networks And Clusters.


Some of the information here may be redundant with the IT department's software list, which has been become a lot more clear, organized, and helpful lately.


The UO has a site license for MATLAB software, including many toolboxes. However, it is not a completely open site license and someone may end up needing to pay for your use (details are murky). Use of this software is not limited to University owned machines, and faculty, GTFs, and academic staff are entitled to install MathWorks software on their personally owned computers for academic use. If you need to install the software in a scope that goes beyond single research lab or personal computers, you may want to consider contacting the license managers for more information. The managers for this license are Mary Bradley mbradley at and Doug Simpson dsimpson at

There is a detailed installation page from the IT department here. You can find the Activation key here (currently in the grad student only section of the wiki) Speak with your adviser or Mary Bradley before attempting to install and run MATLAB.


Use it as an integral table. Download/installation info here, license key here.


A Tex previewer/compiler for Mac OS X, developed here at the UO. The homepage includes download and install information for the software, as well as the TeX Live distribution.


Not software, but a Latex class that can free you from the horrors of Powerpoint (Praise Jesus!). First master Latex, then get Beamer from Learn how to use it by referencing

There is also a guide to adding animations to Beamer presentations written by our very own Jens Nöckel. Taking this road while creating a presentation typically avoids file dependency issues that plague Powerpoint files. If, for instance, a presentation is given on a machine other than the one it was created on, the whole thing (including movies) is self-contained in one pdf file and needs only a suitable reader.

Open Source Options

There is an increasing number of free and viable options to replace commercial software with freely-available and user maintained programs.


MATLAB alternative. If you don't need any of the toolboxes available in MATLAB, this may be a good option.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program (Photoshop alternative) is a very useful tool for manipulating images, whether for a talk figure, poster session, or to advertise an event.


An open source SVG graphics editor (Illustrator alternative).

VPN software

Use a Virtual Private Network client to appear as thought you are on campus. This is useful for doing things that are subscription services (e.g. accessing journal articles from off campus). There are several available here.

Microsoft Office

Because sometimes your adviser insists. Along with the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office can be installed and updated on University owned machines through the Microsoft Campus Agreement. It is also available for installation on personally owned computers for $9.95 though the same agreement.

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