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Math Software

  1. Dec 3, 2005 #1
    I'm looking for some math software that I'll be able to use through university. I'll be doing honors in physics next year. I know there are nice TI graphing calculators but how do they compare to computer software? What are your opinions on Mathematica vs Maple vs ______?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2005 #2
    AddUp 2?
    Little shameless plug... :biggrin: I wrote this calculation software to support a number of features including units and conversions, complex numbers, numeric bases, date and time calculations and many others that should be useful to science students. It is far from being at the same level as Mathematica or Maple, but you may find it useful for various tasks. It does not implement symbolic manipulations though, unlike these other, more advanced packages.
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3
    Nice work on your program!

    I'm still interested in some opinions on the others though! Maybe it would have been better to ask in the physics section...
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #4
    depends on how far into numerical science/simulations science you want to go...

    maple/matlab/mathematica all are good depending on the type of syntax you want to be bothered with. In cdn matlab/maple are more dominate for undergrads i think...matlab is beautiful i think because its syntax is easier but if you can write scripts for maple that'd be cool to. Personally i prefer matlab because it was more dominate with teh simulations people at MAC.
    Maple was more for people who didn't really code as part of their research.
    However applied mathematicians used maple...where as numericals used matlab....

    so talk to your profs, because you should decide based on the 4 years you spend at school..industry i hear uses matlab more, but thats based on a friends opinion

    however because you doing an undegrad might I suggest learning C/C++ and building the stuff from scratch, since alot of fast-performance simulations are still based in c/C++ and its better to be a person of 2 trades for the same field i think, that is to say applying both math/code to physics(theorist+coder)

    look for the books
    [0] numerical recipes in C or C++ or fortran and
    [1]the COmputational Physics book by Landau,
    [2]David Eberly's Code that comes with his 3D graphics book.
    [3]Chris Hecker's Code for 3D rigid body Dynamics...its open src i believe
    if not your outta luck.
    [4]Million-Body book can't remmeber the exact title but there are a whole bunch.

    THis way as you go through your undergraduate
    you can code the simulatoins alongside/or shortly after learning the concepts...something I regret not doing especially for class/analy mech and astrophysics.
    Might I suggest further into looking at the packages STL/SDL/OpenGL to go along with the numerical recipes and eberly

    also perhaps pick up gary flake's book, to understand terms about simulations, i rather enjoyed this book but picked it up abit to late when i was in university.

    If you want to look for inspirations or set goals...looks towards working for IBM just to use their clusters...the fastest in the world when the IBM "name" did a talk. BlueBrain was one of the projects that interested me.
  6. Dec 7, 2005 #5


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    Maybe I am just old fashioned but I'd hold off on getting any high powered package until I had firm grounding in all the relevant mathematical techniques. At the very least, wait until you have a much clearer idea of the kinds of tools you will need (or want!) and learn what packages are in common use by your colleagues. That makes it very much easier to collaborate and to resolve issues with regard to the idiosynchrosies of a given package. For example, it could be very frustrating being the sole user of Maple in a Mathematica or MathCAD world.
  7. Dec 8, 2005 #6
    i prefer matlab over maple and mathematica.
  8. Dec 8, 2005 #7
    Mathematica is really a great program
  9. Dec 8, 2005 #8


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    I've only tried Maple and Mathematica.

    I'd say Maple beats Mathematica easily. Maple is much easier to use.

    From what I see, they both do the same thing. The language is the only difference, hence Maple has a much easier language.
  10. Dec 8, 2005 #9
    Thanks for the opinions and insights!
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