Please have *all* the pieces below installed by the end of the second week of class at the latest. Some pieces might be needed earlier (if required to complete HW assignments ).

Unix on your laptop

If you use a Mac, you are almost all set. But you will still need X11 and some less common unix stuff, see below. On 10.8 X11 no longer comes pre-installed. On a PC, your best bet is a dual boot system (CentOS is best, UBUNTU is OK. Avoid Fedora unless you have it installed already). Otherwise, follow the link below.
Everyone will need LaTex. Many options are available. I recommend TexMaker (a nice gui front end to Latex) for those who never used LaTex before. To install LaTex itself (for OS X). Windows users can google out a whole bunch of options too. Please stay away from Lyx.
Everyone will need the latest Mathematica. Available from VT network software. You do not need Unix to run it.