General Software Issues

You've likely had experience using Excel to handle data analysis and manipulation. That's fine for 20700 and 20800 but for real physics work, you'll need to expand your tool kit.

Some suggestions, based on what the current methods of practicing physicists and astronomers tend to use:

Data Analysis

Symbolic Math

Spreadsheets (don't do it...)

Some of you will have probably used excel for basic science applications, like intro lab work or some basic plotting. In general, practicing physicists do not use spreadsheets for much, other than keeping track of budgets or lab expenditures. The reasons are many, but a few to note: