As a U of T student you’ll be able to access numerous software applications. Many companies offer free or hugely discounted software to university students that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars. It is normally easy to get these at a discount: all you need to do is register an account using your University of Toronto email.
Below is a list of particularly useful free software you can access. For more details, check out the full list of available software. Pro tip: always check if a company offers discounts for (U of T) students before buying, even if the software is not on this list.
The university offers Microsoft Office 365 for free. This gives you access to programs like Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Once you have installed it using your U of T account, you will be able to access all these programs both on- and offline. Check out the Microsoft support page for information on how to install.
MATLAB is a language for numerical computation and mathematical visualization. You will be taught about how the program works in some of your first-year courses (notably ESC103) and will need to use the program every year. By creating an account with your U of T email account, you can download the newest version of the software for free. You will also have access to the online version of MATLAB and MATLAB Drive.
You can use Mathematica for numeric methods, symbolic computation, and more! Think of this as MATLAB but for computer algebra instead of linear algebra. By creating an account with your U of T email account, you get access to both Mathematica Desktop and Mathematica Online.
Jetbrains (for IDEs)
If you have no experience in programming, an IDE is basically a digital environment where you can code — it makes your life much easier. Jetbrains makes IDEs for different coding languages including Python and C which you will learn and use during your first year. To access their products for free, all you need to do is register your account with your U of T email.
Free Software on U of T Computers
In addition to the free software you can download on your laptop, the computers in the ECF have extra software for student use. You should learn to master remotely accessing these computers from your personal laptop! This will be particularly useful for the ESC190 Computer Algorithms and Data Structures course in the second semester of first year. The course uses Valgrind, a debugger that is only available on Mac and Linux. If you do not have WSL (or if you do not know what that is), you will need to remotely access ECF computers to use it.
To access the free software hosted on U of T Engineering computers, go to the U of T Engineering remote access information page. Sign in with your UTORID and password, just like when you sign into the computers on campus. From there, you can see all the applications hosted on the computer and can use them freely.