Math Plotting Software for Electrical Engineering

In summary, a group of electrical engineering undergraduates are discussing various math plotting software options. The criteria for selection are ease of use, a healthy ecosystem, industry use, and adaptability. The top three contenders are Matlab, Mathematica, and Maple. Matlab is favored due to its use in upper year courses and its power for EE applications. Some mention of open source options is made, but the consensus is in favor of Matlab. However, it is noted that doing calculus in Matlab can be difficult.
  • #1
Mancuso
13
1
Hi All:

I am an electrical engineering undergrad. I would like to learn a math plotting software which would be helpful in visualizing topics in advanced calculus (my immediate need). It would also be helpful if the math plotting software was of some use in electrical engineering, but this is not mandatory. The selection criteria is listed here in decreasing weight:

  1. Ease of Use (syntax and techniques that are somewhat intuitive and easy to adapt to other problem areas)
  2. Healthy ecosystem (lots of tutorials, examples online, books and other resources
  3. Industry use (looking for the most commonly used software suites within engineering and science)
  4. Adaptability (commonly used outside mathematics. ie. electrical engineering, modeling).

I have narrowed my search down to:
  1. Matlab
  2. Mathematica
  3. Maple

But this list is by no means exclusive. Currently I am leaning towards Matlab, because I have seen it being used in upper year courses in my electrical engineering program.

I would appreciate your input with regard to which software suite would be best and why. Thank you.
 
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  • #2
I am also an EE student, going into his fourth year. We use MATLAB a lot for our projects and reports. It is extremely easy to use, very intuitive, and quite powerful. I can't speak for industry. Nobody I know that is actually working as an EE uses or even needs that kind of software for their job. But academically, we use it all time.
 
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  • #3
Mancuso said:
Hi All:

I am an electrical engineering undergrad. I would like to learn a math plotting software which would be helpful in visualizing topics in advanced calculus (my immediate need). It would also be helpful if the math plotting software was of some use in electrical engineering, but this is not mandatory. The selection criteria is listed here in decreasing weight:

  1. Ease of Use (syntax and techniques that are somewhat intuitive and easy to adapt to other problem areas)
  2. Healthy ecosystem (lots of tutorials, examples online, books and other resources
  3. Industry use (looking for the most commonly used software suites within engineering and science)
  4. Adaptability (commonly used outside mathematics. ie. electrical engineering, modeling).

I have narrowed my search down to:
  1. Matlab
  2. Mathematica
  3. Maple

But this list is by no means exclusive. Currently I am leaning towards Matlab, because I have seen it being used in upper year courses in my electrical engineering program.

I would appreciate your input with regard to which software suite would be best and why. Thank you.


Three biggest software programs you might use as an electrical engineer are:

LabView
MatLab
Pspice or Multisim

As a student you can get copies of these inexpensively. Matlab I think is 100 bucks. Labview and Multisim will probably run you 50.

As far as your list goes Matlab would be the best to learn as an EE. Doing math in it is more of a pain than the others, but you’ll be using it again later most likely anyway.

At my previous job EE's used Matlab and Labview quite often.
 
  • #4
Mancuso said:
  1. Ease of Use (syntax and techniques that are somewhat intuitive and easy to adapt to other problem areas)
  2. Healthy ecosystem (lots of tutorials, examples online, books and other resources
  3. Industry use (looking for the most commonly used software suites within engineering and science)
  4. Adaptability (commonly used outside mathematics. ie. electrical engineering, modeling).

I have experience with Maple and right now I am using Matlab. Maple meets #1 and 2 on your list. Matlab more 3 and 4. I think MATLAB may have a steeper learning curve, but is more powerful for application.
 
  • #5
I am surprise to see no mention of any of the open source choices...maybe Mancuso is not aware of such thing?

There are many free choices for plotting and graphing, but I am just going to mention one: Python and its entire ever growing ecosystem meets all 4 points...easy to learn, use and adapt, great ecosystem (many fields) and user community, tutorials, books, etc; very much used among engineers and scientists and even in commercial programs as the scripting language; used in many, many fields.
 
  • #6
Thanks for the input everyone. I have asked in a few different places and the consensus seems to be with Matlab. Plotting is secondary to Matlabs's primary uses in EE, but I think it shall suffice for my needs. There was also some consensus in supplimenting Matlabs plotting with Mathematica. Thanks again everyone.

ps. I do know of and use open source solutions, but I'm looking for something well supported in industry, online and books.
 
  • #7
Mancuso said:
Thanks for the input everyone. I have asked in a few different places and the consensus seems to be with Matlab. Plotting is secondary to Matlabs's primary uses in EE, but I think it shall suffice for my needs. There was also some consensus in supplimenting Matlabs plotting with Mathematica. Thanks again everyone.

ps. I do know of and use open source solutions, but I'm looking for something well supported in industry, online and books.

Get the MATLAB student text.

Just be warned doing some calculus in MATLAB is a pain.
 
  • #8
Student100 said:
Get the MATLAB student text.

Just be warned doing some calculus in MATLAB is a pain.

Yes. After a semester of learning maple and doing very mathy type stuff (number theory, linear algebra, calculus) I was surprised how difficult it was to learn matlab. I think maple is designed to let you "hit the ground running" whereas MATLAB is more of big boy science app.
 
  • #9
I've done some plotting on maple and it is rather straight forward. No doubt that Matlab is probably more cumbersome for some calculus.
 

Related to Math Plotting Software for Electrical Engineering

1. What is math plotting software for electrical engineering?

Math plotting software for electrical engineering is a type of computer program that is used to visualize and analyze mathematical equations and data related to electrical engineering. It allows users to create graphs, charts, and other visual representations of mathematical functions and data sets.

2. What are some common features of math plotting software for electrical engineering?

Some common features of math plotting software for electrical engineering include the ability to plot mathematical functions and data sets, customize the appearance of graphs and charts, and perform calculations and analysis on the data.

3. How is math plotting software used in electrical engineering?

Math plotting software is used in electrical engineering to analyze and visualize data related to electrical systems, such as circuit diagrams, voltage and current measurements, and signal processing. It can also be used to simulate and design electrical circuits and systems.

4. Are there any specific programs or tools that are commonly used for math plotting in electrical engineering?

Yes, there are several popular programs and tools that are commonly used for math plotting in electrical engineering. Some examples include MATLAB, Simulink, and National Instruments' LabVIEW. These programs offer a wide range of features and capabilities for data analysis and visualization in electrical engineering.

5. Is math plotting software for electrical engineering difficult to learn and use?

The difficulty level of learning and using math plotting software for electrical engineering can vary depending on the specific program and the user's level of experience. However, many of these programs offer user-friendly interfaces and provide tutorials and support to help users get started. With some practice and familiarity, most users should be able to use math plotting software effectively for their needs.

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