Category Review: interdisciplinary apps for Mac OS X, part one
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Category Review: interdisciplinary apps for Mac OS X, part one

This MacNews Category Review is the first of our multi-part look at interdisciplinary apps for the Mac. Products covered include Aabel, ActivStats, AdaptX, Advanced Numerical Methods, Aerospace Blockset, AgentSheets, amira, Astro IICD, Atom in a Box, BioAssistant, boujou bullet, Cactus Code, CEI Ensight, CFD Analyser, CharlieBot, Clean, Communications Blockset, Communications Toolgox, ConceptDraw MindMap and ConceptDraw Standard.


Aabel ( is an integrated package combining the functions of three applications, providing: a variety of statistical methods with a focus on visualization, dynamic data exploration tools for discovering patterns and outliers, and multi-dimensional data filtering for generating subsets of data; data management tools, scientific graphing with over 200 styles of data representation, diverse data import and graphic file export support, Unicode support, and presentation and publication quality graphic output; and thematic maps, ArcView shape file import support, and map projection utilities, allowing the import, transformation, and display of spatial data using the dynamic graphics engine of Aabel.


ActivStats ( is a multimedia statistics training course that contains more than 250 launchable activities including narrated expositions, videos, simulations, quizzes, projects, homework, animation, and web links. Key concepts covered include: describing and plotting data; correlation and least squares; surveys and experiments; randomness and probability; confidence intervals; hypothesis tests; simple regression. Built-in navigation and reference tools include a hypertext glossary, index, full-text search, table of contents, and links to relevant material. Also included is a customized version of Data Desk, a leading cross-platform statistics package. Data Desk explorations are integrated into every ActivStats lesson.


AdaptX ( is a tool for automated multivariable system identification and time series analysis.

Advanced Numerical Methods

Advanced Numerical Methods ( implements numerical algorithms, including several methods for Lyapunov, Sylvester, and Riccati equations, to solve a wide class of control problems and linear algebra problems with applications in control theory. For each problem, Advanced Numerical Methods provides several computationally viable numerical algorithms that enable the user to choose the most appropriate tool for a given task. Alternatively, it can often automatically select a suitable algorithm based on the size of the problem, the precision of the data, and the precision needed for a particular application.

Aerospace Blockset

Aerospace Blockset ( provides reference models and utilities to accelerate the development and integration of system and sub-system models for aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, satellites, weapons, and unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs). The reference models contain environmental specifications for gravity, atmosphere, and wind and let you spend more time designing more specific vehicle tasks. In addition, the Aerospace Blockset includes blocks that provide essential calculation components and representation models to aid in the verification and visualization of the entire system design. Using the Aerospace Blockset in Simulink, you can integrate all of the component systems in a single environment, allowing you to deploy, reuse, and share your models.


AgentSheets ( is an agent-based graphical authoring tool that lets non-programmers create interactive simulations. It generates web sites containing Java applets that run in Java enabled web browsers.


amira ( is a post processing scientific visualization tool which allows researchers and scientists to perform a variety of tasks related to scientific computing, including 2D plots, 3D interactive rendering on 2D or 3D meshes, data manipulation, as well as 3D volume rendering and 3D reconstruction. You can make iso-surfaces, colored slices, particles trace, volume rendering, data extraction, etc. of data in 3D grids, then rotate, animate and compare the images in real time, and then, if need be, publish them in high quality images or video formats. amira also provides automatic and interactive segmentation tools.

Astro IICD

Astro IICD ( is image acquisition software for astronomy, microscopy and high speed scientificimaging using 1394a and 1394b IIDC/DCAM FireWire cameras.
Atom in a Box

Atom in a Box ( is an application that aids in visualizing the Hydrogenic atomic orbitals, a prime and otherwise unwieldy example of quantum mechanics.


BioAssistant ( is a utility designed to assist PCR scientists, chemists and othersin the design of DNA probes and determination of their melting points, molecular weights and more. It includes a "Master Mix Calculator."


BOINC ( -- or Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computin --is an open-source software platform for volunteer computing. You can participate in several projects, ensuring that your computer will be kept busy even when one project has no work.

boujou bullet

boujou bullet ( is an automated matchmoving and motion tracking application that's designed to provide an automatic tracking capability to animators, compositors, designers, architects and others. The same folks also make boujou three, a high-end automated matchmoving and motion tracking toolkit for professional users in feature film effects, television, and design applications.


CactusCode ( is an open source, problem-solving environment designed for scientists and engineers. Its modular structure ("thorns") enables parallel computation across different architectures and collaborative code development between different groups. It's mainly used for solving complicated PDEs. It highly portable, and has some features like observing and even "controlling" or "steering" a running simulation using an ordinary web browser.

CEI Ensight

CEI EnSight ( high-end visualization software for engineers and scientists and medical researchers. EnSight specializes in 3D transient biomedical, engineering and scientific data visualization. Plotting, data extraction and data conversion is also provided. All major academic, commercial and government CFD, FEA, and CAD data can be read into EnSight. EnSight results can be saved in image, animation, or geometry forms for sharing and presenting. All actions in EnSight are captured and available for reusing as layouts, operating in batch, or for driving from a custom application.

CFD Analyser

CDF Analyser ( is a Tecplot add-on for post-processing of computational fluid dynamics data.


CharlietBot ( is an artificial intelligence program written in the Java language. It'ss based on work from the ALICE, ANNA v7.0, and Program D v4.1.5 projects.


Clean ( is is a general purpose, higher order, pure and lazy functional programming language based on graph rewriting designed for the development of sequential, parallel and distributed real world applications.

Communications Blockset

Communications Blockset ( builds on the Simulink system-level design environment by providing more than 150 blocks to model the physical layer of a communication system. It can be used to design wireless, broadband, broadcasting, and satellite systems and the semiconductors used in these applications.

Communications Toolbox

Communications Toolbox ( is a library of MATLAB functions that facilitates the design of communication system algorithms and components. It builds on the powerful capabilities of MATLAB and the Signal Processing Toolbox by providing functions to model the physical layer of a communication system.

ConceptDraw MindMap Professional

ConceptDraw MindMap Professional ( is brainstorming and presentation software which uses the mind map approach to help you capture, store organise and present ideas and concepts.

ConceptDraw Standard

ConceptDraw Standard ( is an application for creating professional-looking business and technical drawings and illustrations for your documents.

Next week: part II


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