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Data Storage in Mathematica

  1. Sep 21, 2008 #1
    Im a pretty decent matlab and maple user and now Im starting to use mathematica, because I've heard good things about it. I had some simple questions about it that I was hoping someone could answer.

    1.) What is the best way to store data in mathematica? Do people use matricies like in matlab, or is there some better way.
    2.) How does indexing work?
    3.) Is there some sort of way to get a 'command line' to try out commands before using them in your script?

    If anyone could help me out with these questions I would appreciate it grealty. Also sorry if htese are bad questions, like i said, im a beginner.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2008 #2
    I just realized that there is a math program section. If the mods could move it there I would appreciate it. Sorry about that!
  4. Sep 21, 2008 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Hi EngageĀ²

    Mathematica has sparse matrices, which can reduce the data size considerably if the matrix is reasonably sparse. Otherwise you can use DumpSave to get a reasonably compressed storage of all variables in memory. In general, indexing access is faster and more compact than iteratively building up an array. Typically you should use arrays and matrices primarily when the size is fixed and known in advance.

    The notebook interface is essentially a command-line interface, so I am not sure what you are after.
  5. Sep 21, 2008 #4
    Thank you for the quick reply! Yeah, I know it is just like a command line, i guess I was looking for another window to execute commands. It was my plan to use the notebook as a place to write scripts and try out little chunks in a separate area.

    But my data will definitely have fixed size. Is there any easy way to call up a cell in an array or matrix? Right now I'm trying to write a loop that will fill up a fixed matrix or an array, cell by cell.
  6. Sep 21, 2008 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    The command "Table" will fill an array or matrix. If x is an array then x[] will access the i'th element.
  7. Sep 21, 2008 #6
    That is exactly what i was looking for. Thank you so much for the help!
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