by Entropia
 P: 3 I use mathcad and maple. i tried to learn mathamtic and matlab but i could'n in my opinion mathcad is easier to learn from the others.
P: 114
 Quote by PerennialII . Mathcad IMO is an extended scientific calculator ... the other 3 are meant for real scientific stuff and in such respect superior, but in simpler cases can be overly complex. .
This is not true. judging from that statement, I have a feeling that you have not even seen Mathcad, not used it. In our University, it's the program used by Engineers ( including 99.9% of chemical engineers), chemists, chemical physics to do serious chemical (kinetics etc) simulations etc. It's a very powerful program.
 Quote by PerennialII . I prefer Matlab in numerical number crunching tasks over Mathematica, but everything else I do pretty much with Mathematica.
Mathcad does all that plus other stuff faster than mathematica , matlab etc.
P: 61
 Quote by mccoy1 This is not true. judging from that statement, I have a feeling that you have not even seen Mathcad, not used it. In our University, it's the program used by Engineers ( including 99.9% of chemical engineers), chemists, chemical physics to do serious chemical (kinetics etc) simulations etc. It's a very powerful program. Mathcad does all that plus other stuff faster than mathematica , matlab etc.
Eh, I prefer Mathematica now after using it so much at UCLA. It's got a sort of Python/C++ feel to it. Here, it's the program that the physics department uses.

But I'm intrigued. Would it be easy to simulate, say, a number of particles bumping around in a box?
 P: 3 I say that Mathcad is easier to learn not good or bad. I'm using Mathcad and Maple
 P: 10 I use matlab and there are its advantages and disadvantages: Advantages: It lets you work in Matrices easily. It lets you do some complicated calculations quickly, without having to write a whole program or spreadsheet. Tons of add-ons and workbenches available to do a variety of tasks. Disadvantages: Just about everything else: horrible syntax, horrible development environment, dynamic types, not OO, a software development nightmare. It wasn't developed from a software development perspective, and it shows. Every lesson learned from the 30+ years of software development has been lost on this application, which forces users to do things that make any sensible software developer cringe
P: 61
 Quote by daceymathers I use matlab and there are its advantages and disadvantages: Advantages: It lets you work in Matrices easily. It lets you do some complicated calculations quickly, without having to write a whole program or spreadsheet. Tons of add-ons and workbenches available to do a variety of tasks. Disadvantages: Just about everything else: horrible syntax, horrible development environment, dynamic types, not OO, a software development nightmare. It wasn't developed from a software development perspective, and it shows. Every lesson learned from the 30+ years of software development has been lost on this application, which forces users to do things that make any sensible software developer cringe
From my limited experience with Matlab, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Matrices are so much easier to enter in, etc, than in Mathematica. But I hate the way it works.
 Sci Advisor P: 3,593 I am a bit discontent with this thread. It would be nice for someone who knows all three programs to sum up their respective capabilities. I have worked with both Maple and Mathematica, but >5 years ago. I used to do analytic or symbolic computations and computed e.g. high order Pade approximants which required the ability to calculate with floating numbers of high precision. At least at that time, I perceived matlab as a program to do numerical, especially matrix operations, and more taylored towards engineering needs. I preferred to code matrix operations manually using lapack and the like, so I did not see a need to cope with matlab. How are the symbolic capabilities of matlab today, e.g. like finding an asymptotic expansion of the Macdonalds function with complex index?
PF Gold
P: 4,287
 Quote by daceymathers I use matlab and there are its advantages and disadvantages: Advantages: It lets you work in Matrices easily. It lets you do some complicated calculations quickly, without having to write a whole program or spreadsheet. Tons of add-ons and workbenches available to do a variety of tasks. Disadvantages: Just about everything else: horrible syntax, horrible development environment, dynamic types, not OO, a software development nightmare. It wasn't developed from a software development perspective, and it shows. Every lesson learned from the 30+ years of software development has been lost on this application, which forces users to do things that make any sensible software developer cringe
You can do OO in matlab. the syntax is a lot like c except that its not hardtyped.
 P: 3 Hi, folks, I'm looking to put together a toolset outside of Excel that will be used for risk analysis, forecasting, and eventually developing machine-learning algorithms for a financial services company. Excel is undeniably entrenched in ours, as in most, businesses, and that's fine. It's useful, and I think the best Microsoft product. But I'd really like to be able to work at a deeper level, both logistically and analytically, as we try to do more with our data, and as I learn how. I'm a fan of Python though still basically a neophyte. I've similarly been a fan of the Sage project (http://www.sagemath.org/) for a while and puttered around with it. I'm not sufficiently committed to nor proficient in either, nor any other particular platform that might be used for data analysis. Which is to say I'm in a position to need some more power tools and while I'm slightly predisposed to trying Python (using, perhaps, the pandas and scikit-learning libraries as well as Sage, which is developed in Python also) I'm not beholden to any particular system. I've just looked at Mathematica for the first time in a while, and considering how broad its reach is now (e.g., all of periodictable.com--built by Wolfram Research co-founder Theodore Gray--is generated with Mathematica) I'm intrigued. Matlab seems perhaps more focused on the functionality generally collected under the umbrella "data analysis". Either is, I'm sure, more than capable for beginner-to-intermediate sophistication. There are, of course, a variety of other options to consider as well. Buying into Matlab and Mathematica, though, is buying into some amount of proprietary technology. Conversely, starting with Python or R or other open-source tools probably means building more infrastructure by hand. Each sounds interesting, and there's some potential for overlap as they can talk to one another. But we'll be (I hope) building a department around this functionality and I'd like to start us out on solid footing. I would defer to what our tech platform uses, but we're a small business that lives on Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and a bespoke PHP application, so there's not much constraint there. Thoughts?
PF Gold
P: 4,287
 Quote by DrDu How are the symbolic capabilities of matlab today, e.g. like finding an asymptotic expansion of the Macdonalds function with complex index?
Matlab is not the first choice for symbolics. I've come to love it for numerical simulations, data visualization, and data crunching. I personally love the syntax with regard to flow control: it's very simple and straightforward, like python.

Edit: we use maple for abstract algebra and I think it's tops for that, but their numerics aren't as well thought out as something like matlab, imo.
PF Gold
P: 4,287
 Quote by muraii Hi, folks, I'm looking to put together a toolset outside of Excel that will be used for risk analysis, forecasting, and eventually developing machine-learning algorithms for a financial services company. Excel is undeniably entrenched in ours, as in most, businesses, and that's fine. It's useful, and I think the best Microsoft product. But I'd really like to be able to work at a deeper level, both logistically and analytically, as we try to do more with our data, and as I learn how. I'm a fan of Python though still basically a neophyte. I've similarly been a fan of the Sage project (http://www.sagemath.org/) for a while and puttered around with it. I'm not sufficiently committed to nor proficient in either, nor any other particular platform that might be used for data analysis. Which is to say I'm in a position to need some more power tools and while I'm slightly predisposed to trying Python (using, perhaps, the pandas and scikit-learning libraries as well as Sage, which is developed in Python also) I'm not beholden to any particular system. I've just looked at Mathematica for the first time in a while, and considering how broad its reach is now (e.g., all of periodictable.com--built by Wolfram Research co-founder Theodore Gray--is generated with Mathematica) I'm intrigued. Matlab seems perhaps more focused on the functionality generally collected under the umbrella "data analysis". Either is, I'm sure, more than capable for beginner-to-intermediate sophistication. There are, of course, a variety of other options to consider as well. Buying into Matlab and Mathematica, though, is buying into some amount of proprietary technology. Conversely, starting with Python or R or other open-source tools probably means building more infrastructure by hand. Each sounds interesting, and there's some potential for overlap as they can talk to one another. But we'll be (I hope) building a department around this functionality and I'd like to start us out on solid footing. I would defer to what our tech platform uses, but we're a small business that lives on Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and a bespoke PHP application, so there's not much constraint there. Thoughts?
I don't know about the others, but matlab works great with Excel. I would say if you want all the packages and technical support are willing to pay for it, go with matlab. But if you have the time to write your own scripts, hunt down non-standard packages, and learn to use them without tech support, then python is the cheaper option.
P: 3
 Quote by Pythagorean I don't know about the others, but matlab works great with Excel. I would say if you want all the packages and technical support are willing to pay for it, go with matlab. But if you have the time to write your own scripts, hunt down non-standard packages, and learn to use them without tech support, then python is the cheaper option.
Hi, Pythagorean, and thanks for the response. Interoperability with Excel is pretty key, as we'll never get rid of it. Especially if we can tie whichever CAS/numerical system into a high-end backend for Excel, it should be a good option. I'd like to remove a lot of the grunt work we now do in Excel to something such that Excel is a dumb terminal to the CAS/numerical system, albeit a dumb terminal with some light analytical tools.

Looking at Mathematica, they (predictably) also have Excel-facing functionality. However, it's an additional package costing US\$249. Is Matlab's support more native?

If this fits better in a separate thread, I'm happy to take that up, but I figured so many people ask about these packages (thus this sticky thread) that I'd keep it here.
 PF Gold P: 4,287 The functions are called xlswrite and xlsread and I'm fairly sure they're standard. Matlab also has an open file exchange where you can download free usermade packages and functions.
 P: 82 Hi friends, First of all, sorry if my question sounds a bit elementary. I am have just started to use the 'ScientificErrorAnalysis' package in maple 17. I have some functions like: f:=Quantity(10+2*x+x^3,0.4*x) and I want to have the derivative of them. When doing diff(f, x), maple give me (D[1](ScientificErrorAnalysis:-Quantity))(x^3+2*x+10, .4*x)*(3*x^2+2)+.4*(D[2](ScientificErrorAnalysis:-Quantity))(x^3+2*x+10, .4*x) What does it mean by D[1] or D[2]?!!!! Is it right if I just put Quantity(2+3*x^2,0.4) instead of diff(f,x) ? Sorry, but I am always so confused with all these error functions!!! :(

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