# Mathematica vs Maple

1. Aug 12, 2004

### sparkster

At the undergrad school I attended, they used Mathematica. I found a copy of the student edition selling for $20 in the book store, so I bought, upgraded to 4.2 for$40 and was a happy math student.

The grad school I'm starting at next week uses Maple. I can get the student version for \$112 through the campus computer store.

Now I've never used Maple, so I was wondering if it was better, or even all that different. I already have a good math program, so I really don't want to invest in another one.

2. Aug 12, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Maple is probably a bit "prettier" than Mathematica, but, if you're already used to Mathematica and are not doing any sort of computations that are outside the capabilities of Mathematica, there's no reason (IMO) to switch. It will be easy to translate between Maple input and Mathematica input.

- Warren

3. Aug 12, 2004

### sparkster

So I do some stuff on my home computer and, for some reason, want to do something with it at school, it wouldn't be difficult? Or did I misunderstand you?

4. Aug 12, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Well, there's no automatic translation from Maple to Matlab notebooks, but it's easy enough to do. Both programs offer a lot of the exact same tools, but sometimes call them by different names. The syntax is also very different, but neither is really that hard to learn.

Beware that if your professor has written any sort of Maple packages that you must use to do your work, you're going to be out of luck with Mathematica.

- Warren

5. Aug 12, 2004

### graphic7

6. Aug 12, 2004

### sparkster

Yeah, that's the main thing that I was worried about. I'd much rather be at my house working on stuff than at the computer lab. Although, I am studying pure math, so I'm not sure how much I'll need to worry about all this. I'm taking a linear algebra class, and as an undergrad, my linear prof included mathematica assignments. I'm assuming that the grad class will focus more on theory and less on application.

7. Aug 12, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
I'd say the best thing to do is simply call up your prof and ask him.

- Warren

8. Aug 12, 2004

### sparkster

What a novel idea! I haven't met him yet, but I assume he'll be at the department orientation next week. Hey! I could even ask some of the other grad students who have had these classes!

Wow...talking to actual live people about things rather than posting on a message board...wonderful idea...