Macs in Chemistry

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The Julia Language


Whilst I’m not a full time programmer I do keep an eye out for tools that are suited for scientific computing on a Mac. Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing with an extensive mathematical function library.

The library, largely written in Julia itself, also integrates mature, best-of-breed C and Fortran libraries for linear algebra, random number generation, signal processing, and string processing. In addition, the Julia developer community is contributing a number of external packages through Julia’s built-in package manager

Julia’s LLVM-based just-in-time (JIT) compiler combined with the language’s design allow it to approach and often match the performance of C. The table below taken from the Julia website gives an idea of the relative performance for a number of simple benchmarks.


Julia was designed to support multiple cores and cloud computing. IJulia is a Julia-language backend combined with the IPython interactive environment. This combination allows you to interact with the Julia language using IPython's powerful graphical notebook, which combines code, formatted text, math, and multimedia in a single document

For the Mac a Julia-version.dmg file is provided, which contains Installation is the same as any other Mac software – copy the to your hard-drive (anywhere) or run from the disk image. The core of the Julia implementation is licensed under the MIT license.

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