# How about LaTeX, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab and programming forums as well?

1. Sep 13, 2004

Folks,

How about LaTeX, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab and programming forums as well?

Skills that are so important for engineers and scientists, such as LaTeX, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, and (Assembly, C, C++, C#, etc) programming, could take advantage of the collaborative environment present in this web community. I think it could make a difference. What do you guys think of that?

Regards

2. Sep 14, 2004

### Clausius2

I'm with you.

3. Sep 14, 2004

### enigma

Staff Emeritus
Is there any reason why the software forum couldn't be used?

4. Sep 14, 2004

### Clausius2

Yes. Computing physics processes is not the same thing that questioning about software doubts. You need a lot of experience programming a lot of problems. But as you've just said, there is some questions like this that can be answered in the software forum:

-How could I put a surface integral in LaTex?
-How could I switch on Matlab :tongue2: ?.
-How can I do when Matlab has not enough memory to deal with large arrays? (do you remember that question?. It was mine, and it was gently answered by you... )

But there are others that probably cannot be solved in computer forum: (dduardo, sorry if I'm saying something stupid. You could claim: I know how to do that!!).

-What numerical method can I use in order to integrate Euler equations for a supersonic flow over an sphere, and how should I improve it in Matlab?
-I have some unstabilities in my numerical scheme simulating a rocket flight in Matlab. How can I stabilize my scheme?.
-I'm using the Crank-Nicholson method in order to integrate 1D Heat equation in Matlab. But I'm not sure how can I structure the program in order to do a repetitive task....

Maybe it was not the original intention of Thiago_j when he wrote is post, but, by the way you could propose a numerical techniques forum in which computational sciences has more power.

With the large amount of members this forum have, perhaps you could attract here the CFD community with a similar forum I've told you. And God knows there are a lot of people involved in this subject and a few websites about it!!.

5. Sep 14, 2004

### Greg Bernhardt

We usually like to stay away from specialized forum topics. We'd only consider it if there is a current need for that forum, not just "it would be nice to have". Can you show us threads where people have posted about these topics here?

6. Sep 14, 2004

### Clausius2

:tongue2: Hmmm......let me see, Greg...

Well, perhaps you have to be sure I would post a lot of threads of this topic if there were such forum. And maybe other people too. In my case, I know this is not the correct site of posting something too specialized, as you said; or better expressed, something that has no site of discussion here. For that, I only post about all people know in order to provide everyone the chance of talking.

Do you really think CFD science is something strongly specialized? I'm not sure, the quantum people are more specialized than us. CFD explains not only how to program the Navier-Stokes equations, also is enable to explain any numerical simulation. And this is not specialized at all, don't you think so?

7. Sep 14, 2004

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
For anyone pursuing a physics degree, classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and classical E&M are all common area of studies. So QM is certainly NOT a "specialized topic", more like a required topic. Every physicist, no matter what area of study he/she specializes in, MUST know those three fundamental areas. On the other hand, not every physics major studies numerical computation or computational physics. I'm guessing the same can be said about the other science majors. Therefore, as far as physics is concerned, computational methods IS more specialized than QM.

Zz.

8. Sep 14, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
But perhaps less specialized than String Theories ? About a third (often more) of any Physics department works with Computational Methods and less than 10% does String Theory.

9. Sep 14, 2004

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Then the problem here is the degree of recognition/popularity. For better or for worse, a lot of young, starry-eyed students are seduced by the sexyness of string, etc. If we simply go by the proportions of students in graduate schools and percentage of practicising physicists in a certain area, then Condensed Matter physics should dominate ANY physics discussion area. This, we do not see. In fact, here in PF, CM shares a section with atomic and molecular physics.

So, if such a large section of physics such as CM gets only a small section of this discussion site, how does one argue that something even MORE specialized and less recognized should get its own section?

Zz.

10. Sep 14, 2004

### Dr Transport

If you want to ask a question about a program such as Latex, look at the forum under general physics. I have answered specific questions about Latex in the software forum also. There is a forum for latex at http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/ that I have found useful. Using Latex is not as hard as it used to be because of the great guis they have now, MikTeX, Kile, etc.......for long expressions, I use Kile, check the expressions then paste into the forum.

As for Maple, Mathematica and MatLab, ask the question, others have answered them. Computational methods can be discussed in the corresponding forum, I have a backgound in Transport Theory and have used many different numerical techniques, will answer questions if posed and I have something significant to say. Many times someone else beats me to the punch.

Dduardo and chroot have done a great job with the computer forums, they have worked on the C++ and Java programing threads. I have learned a great deal from them.

In other words, my vote is to keep teh number of forums and sub-forums the same.

dt

11. Sep 14, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Yes, I agree. I only wanted to point out that it's not merely a question of specialization that determines whether an area gets dedicated representation. In fact, as in the case of String Theories, it plays a very small role. The more important question is, "how many people will this serve ?"

And counting posts related to this area doesn't often give a good measure of the interest in the area. If people can't find the right sub-forum, they may not post at all, out of the feeling that there are not likely any others with interest/experience in the area.

Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
12. Sep 14, 2004

### plover

I would think it would be worthwhile to have a 'programming' forum separate from the 'software' forum. The latter sounds like a place to discuss programs, not the process of making them.

13. Sep 15, 2004

### Clausius2

It's only your opinion. You seem to live in a "physicist world". The real world is the world of engineering. The world nearest the business world. No engineer in the world is questioning him about string theory. It sounds good, but is too specialized and not very common out of strongly specialized research centers. By contrast, the computational simulation of physical process is present over the entire scientific community, also professional community:

-Numerical Stress analysis on structural elements (Mechanical engineering, Aerospace engineering, Structural engineering)
-Heat transfer simulation processes. (Thermal engineering).
-Numerical flow simulations (Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering)
-Numerical simulation of electromagnetic phenomena inside electric machines, conductors, antenna's radiation (Electrical engineering, Communications engineering).

There are a lot of people working at research departments of both enterprises and universities using applied numerical methods. There is a 100% of probability for engineer to do a numerical calculation in his life than to question about strings and membranes or hadrons. This is not specialized at all.

Anyway, ZapperZ, this is not a discussion of substituting one section per another. I'm not saying some of the sections are not neccesary. I'm only proposing something additional to improve our PF funny times.

14. Sep 15, 2004

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the PHYSICS FORUM, isn't it? I'd say my "physicist world" is quite relevant in this discussion. It is certainly more pertinent than a "business world".

For some reason, just because I oppose to this, somehow I get labelled as someone who is dismissing the importance of numerical computation. Anyone who has read one of my journal enteries can clearly contradict that! I spent the early part of my graduate work writing a quantum monte carlo routine to solve for the energy barrier on the surface of platinum catalyst used in the petroleum industry! So I think I do not need to be told how numerical computation permeates a large part of the physicial sciences and engineering. Ironically, your listing of the usage of computational work actually weakens your point in having a separate forum for this. The fact is that numerical computations are used IN CONJUNCTION to solve problems in fields of studies that already exist as various PF sub-forums! Dr. Transport has given an example where it is used in condensed matter. The work I did fit either in CM or in any engineering sub-forum. In other words, unless there is a ground swell of people who just want to talk about the numerical methodology itself (how long can one talk about the 4th order Runge-Kutta method without falling asleep?), then I'd say there are already existing forums for numerical computation done in various field of studies.

Zz.

15. Sep 15, 2004

### Clausius2

For a strange reason I don't actually know, last times you run behind me with a knife trying to hunt me. But I'm not going to fall asleep. :zzz: .

It is very interesting to see a guy raising so fervourly against idea of another member (not like Greg or Tom, who are PF administrators and is their logical task to ask for heavy reasons). It's very curious, isn't it?. Have you got any problem with me, ZapperZ?.

You're always giving personal opinions, but I am giving a constructive, additional, non destructive, only complementary, not damaging, not dangerous idea. I don't have nothing against you, I'll assure that, unless you have something against me.

About the "physicist world", I have to say it was nothing bad-intentioned. All people know the difference between an engineer and a physicist (sometimes there is no difference). Maybe the engineer solves problems nearer the "usual" world. For that, the numerical simulation is a vital tool for him. You probably know how clumsy we are solving by hand the equations . Therefore, we usually need for a computational program to do that.

Again, I haven't got anything against quantum and physics people. You can go to the last post "Nuclear question" started by myself in the Atoms and Nuclei forum and see the jokes between me, Humanino and Marlon.

And please, clear up what do you mean with "Ironically, your listing of the usage of computational work actually weakens your point in having a separate forum for this". It has no sense. Are you diminsihing those disciplines? I hope you're not.

16. Sep 15, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Relax, guys. Quit picking fights with each other.

The bottom line is that there is no plan to modify the current forum structure. We receive proposals to change it practically every day, but we're really pretty happy with it already.

- Warren

17. Sep 15, 2004

### Clausius2

Thanks, Chroot. It is the kind of answer I'm glad of receiving. A logical reason, and a polite explanation.

18. Sep 15, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
I should also mention that, if anything, we'd prefer to merge forums together than split forums apart or create new ones. We already have a LOT of different forums here, and we feel the subject matter is already broken apart well enough.

- Warren

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