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xddxogm3
10-04-2004, 05:38 PM
I wanted to get some opinions on mathmatica.
Is it worth purchasing? I want a tool to compliment my mathmatics studies. I have heard this tool is amazing, and can do basically any math from algebra to the highest levels of calculas. Is this true? Please answer the pole as yes i would recomend it, including a posted reason on why or no I would not recomend it, including a posted reason why not. Thank you.
post 300

cpp!n
10-04-2004, 05:47 PM
what is it? any web links?

xddxogm3
10-04-2004, 06:35 PM
http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/index.html
oops. I misspelled it.
ok you are all correct.
I'm not an english major.
:rolleyes:

Zach L.
10-04-2004, 07:14 PM
It depends on what you are planning on using it for/studying. (Granted, it is fun to play with.) For abstract/pure math, it would not be so useful as it can't do the proofs for you (and, it would be hard to learn much if it did, anyway). It is rather useful for advanced physics, though. Certainly, there are a lot of other things it is useful for, but whether it will be useful to you depends on what you plan on doing.

Draco
10-04-2004, 07:16 PM
Yes, mathematica is a great program and can do all ranges of math. I don't know off hand how much it costs, I'm sure the website says, but I suspect it's over a thousand dollars. I have to ask what math are you in now? I would recommend against getting mathematica while you are still learning math. The program is so powerful that chances are you'll go to it often and not work through a hard problem yourself to get to the same level of understanding. From what I know Mathematica's main use is for post-graduate and industry levels.

Zach L.
10-04-2004, 07:20 PM
Yeah, it is great for doing grunt work for you. I think a student license is several hundred.

xddxogm3
10-04-2004, 07:34 PM
mathematica 5 student license is $139.99
I want it to show me the steps of what I can not figure out on my own.
I also want it to check my homework, the books I use do not disclose the answers in the back of the book or in the instructors solution manual. How are you to know if you are correct. I can not find it and neither can the instructor. We are then to trust that the answer we found was correct. If mathematica does not disclose the steps, then it may not be of any assistance to me. I was advised though that it would show every step in finding the answer.

Draco
10-04-2004, 08:36 PM
Alright, that's a little different. I'm going to assume you're in calculus, and you can go to http://www.calc101.com and try some of its features. The website will give you an intro into what mathematica can do, and yes it does explain the steps one by one so it will serve you for the purpose of checking answers. Maybe your teacher should get it.

xddxogm3
10-04-2004, 09:05 PM
from your post, is it safe to assume it doesn't allow you to create a problem identical to the way it looks in the book? are we required to alter the format from the book to fit a format that the software can accept? similar to the way my graphing calculator does?

Perspective
10-04-2004, 09:10 PM
I suggest Maple or Matlab. Maple for hard core and exact math, matlab for simulation and programmable type problems. Ive never used mathematica but ive heard from some math friends that it doesnt hold anything to Maple.

Zach L.
10-04-2004, 11:06 PM
Consider what you really need in for. A nice little TI-89 or the like may be more handy.

Draco
10-04-2004, 11:10 PM
I have Maple, Matlab and Mathematica at my school and while I've only looked at Mathematica any good amount all three are great programs. From what I've seen Maple would have a lot more than you would need, and matlab is more of a specialized programming language/environment that has some good math functions. I personally would think you'd be better suited with mathematica than maple, but you can look at some of maple's math tutorials at this website and see what you think for yourself. http://www.mapleapps.com/highschoolcenter/MapleTutors.shtml

xddxogm3
10-04-2004, 11:17 PM
draco,
thanks.
i reviewed both tutorials, and it has helped alot.

KneeGrow
10-04-2004, 11:26 PM
Mathematic is undoubtedly worth purchasing if you are into math. Its basically a Ti-999999 that can do practically everything from basic addition to sequences to even dictionary lookups. But I thougth mathematica was like $1000+ so I dunno about the pricetag. I got it for free from math camp.

Sang-drax
10-05-2004, 05:26 AM
I haven't tried Mathematica that much, but it's great for drawing and plotting in 2D and 3D.
You can just enter an arbitrary equation and the program will draw the shape, like this:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ClebschDiagonalCubic.html

Matlab is only made for numerical calculations. It's particulary good with matrices (the name stand for Matrix lab IIRC).

xddxogm3
10-05-2004, 12:25 PM
it looks like the mathematica is worth it crowd has taken the lead.
any other opinions. i want some varied opinions before I drop $139 for the program and $39 for the book to use it.

Perspective
10-05-2004, 02:11 PM
it looks like the mathematica is worth it crowd has taken the lead.
any other opinions. i want some varied opinions before I drop $139 for the program and $39 for the book to use it.

Like i said before, ive never used mathematica so i cant make a fair comparison here but.... Maple is god. Theres no other way to put it. It will give exact answers to everything (no decimal crap unless you want it) in terms of 'e' , pi, logarithms, etc.. Its also awsome for graphing in both 2D and 3D... it has student modes that allow you to generate intermediate steps to solutions so you can understand how the solution is reached. I could go on forever here, i cant even count the number of times ive used it to verify calculus and linear algebra homework. I definately suggest you look into Maple before making a final decision.

whistlenm1
10-05-2004, 03:49 PM
Student version for $139.00, a limited edition no doubt. Anyway, before you buy it check out what you really get and compare it with the TI-89 like Zach L said, that should help you decide better.

scrappy
10-05-2004, 04:33 PM
Student version for $139.00, a limited edition no doubt. Anyway, before you buy it check out what you really get and compare it with the TI-89 like Zach L said, that should help you decide better.

I use Mathematica right now for school and personally I think it's great. It's great for plotting graphs, solving equations, integrals, derivatives.. I've only just hit the surface of the things it can do. It's definately a great piece of software, and paying $140 for a student license is much better than however much it is for a normal. Printing things is a snap also

xddxogm3
10-05-2004, 05:35 PM
I'm a full time student.

I'm looking for something to help finish the prerequisites, and for calculus based physics 3. i want to purchase something that is more familiar to me then a calculator (i.e. computer software) to help me make sure I know what I'm talking about. I like the ti-85 I currently have, but it has issues with order of precedence, and a few other things that are very annoying. Iím sick of redundant parentheses to make sure my work is following rules of mathematics. thank you for suggesting to compare it to the Texas instrument calculators.


That is a good idea.