Math Software

This is a discussion on Math Software within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm taking a class called Numerical Analysis this semester, and for the projects we are required to use some sort ...

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    Math Software

    I'm taking a class called Numerical Analysis this semester, and for the projects we are required to use some sort of math software. I have access to three: Maple, Matlab, and Mathematica. Which one would you recommend and why? I've enver used neither one of those for a math class; I did do some image processing with Matlab, but thats a bit different. So far, I've heard that both matlab and maple are more user friendly than Mathematica.

    Any suggestions?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    I've only used Matlab so I can't give a comparison, but it is very good software. When doing programming with it it can be a bit finnicky about stupid stuff such as alignment and spacing (otherwise you get syntax errors and it doesn't turn into valid code). That's the only real complaint I've ever heard of it.
    See you in 13

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that if you learned enough about any of those programs you could do damn near anything with them.

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    I like mathematica the best but I've never tried matlab. Mathematica seems to be the most powerful

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    Matlab is more like a programming language. I recommend Matlab for practical use, when you need to do calculations or mathmatical simulations or programs. Matlab is not as suitable as a tool for studying math, because it has no symbolic support and it takes more effort to draw graphs (especially 3D).

    To draw the surface z = x^2 + y^3 in Matlab:
    Code:
    interval = linspace(-1,1,20);
    [X,Y] = meshgrid( interval, interval);
    Z = X.^2 + Y.^3;
    surf(X,Y,Z);
    Maple is really, really easy to use. It has symbolic support and it's really easy to draw graphs. Maple is excellent as a tool for learning math.

    To draw the surface in Maple:
    Code:
    plot3d( x^2 + y^3 , x=-1..1, y=-1..1);
    Mathematica also has symbolic support like Maple. Mathworld has lots ot downloads for Mathematica, which is nice. Mathematica is really advanced, but I don't think Matlab is more user friendly.
    Last edited by Sang-drax : Tomorrow at 02:21 AM. Reason: Time travelling

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    I've only used Maple and Mathematica, but I recommend Mathematica hands-down. I also took Numerical Analysis, and that's what I used. I don't know what capabilities Matlab has, but I'm sure that you can do the same sort of programming Sang-drax alludes to with Mathematica as well. It's pretty easy to use as long as you have a basic understanding of any programming language and can read the help files.
    If I did your homework for you, then you might pass your class without learning how to write a program like this. Then you might graduate and get your degree without learning how to write a program like this. You might become a professional programmer without knowing how to write a program like this. Someday you might work on a project with me without knowing how to write a program like this. Then I would have to do you serious bodily harm. - Jack Klein

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    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Im with Sang-drax on this one. If you want to do programming in a math environment, use Matlab for sure. Anything else and i'd use Maple for sure.

    *suggestion* I took a similar course called Numerical Methods. My project ended being an OpenGL spline surface demo but anyway, the prof suggested Matlab and suggested Signal Processing is one of the more interesting choices for projects. The recommended project that year was "Graph Matchin Algorithms" (using matlab) though we had the choice to do basically anything we wanted as long as it related to numerical computing.

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    Derive 6 is a good program for students...
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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    I decided that I will give both MATLAB and MAPLE a try - MAPLE I was use for the first project and MATLAB for the second and then see which one works better. Thanks a lot guys!

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    Cheesy Poofs! PJYelton's Avatar
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    I agree with both Sang-drax and Perspective word for word.

    Have fun in Numerical Analysis, that was by far my favorite class last year.

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    >>Have fun in Numerical Analysis, that was by far my favorite class last year.<<

    I took that class in order to get rid of my final math requirement - I really didn't want to take differentail equations I've had enough "real" math! so far the course is easy, but not terribly interesting...hopefully it'll improve - the Professor seems good, so far.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    Cheesy Poofs! PJYelton's Avatar
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    Yeah, at least for me it took awhile to get going, a lot of terminology and basic stuff to get out of the way first. But once we got to designing programs to solve some of the problems it got really interesting. Hopefully yours does as well. Either way, it'll definately be better than DE's

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    sorry for the bump, but I felt there is no need of starting a new thread about the same topic.

    Anywyas, I just found free software similar to matlab and maple: Octave. It is available for download here: www.octave.org Octave is a great alternative to its expensive commercial counterparts.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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