Julia is a new scientific programming language, developed over the last four years largely at MIT. Hundreds of programming languages have been invented over the years, but only a handful have made it big. So why should we care about Julia? In a nutshell, Julia is the first modern, high-level, dynamic programming language that is both aimed squarely at science and effective for general-purpose computing. In terms of other languages, Julia has the high-level, dynamic, and general-purpose feel of Python, the powerful numerical syntax and libraries of Matlab, the execution speed of C, and the metaprogramming sophistication of Lisp. Julia is also open source. You can download, execute, and modify it as you like, for free.
A few big-picture perspectives on Julia
The last of these is an excerpt from a proposal I wrote to the National Science Foundation,which was awarded in March 2016. Suffice it to say that I'm enormously enthused about Julia, I have big plans for incorporating it into the scientific computing curriculum at UNH, and that this project has the approval and backing of the NSF.
There are a number of ways to run Julia:
And here are some good getting-started tutorials