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Mathematical software: Latex, Mathml, MathType, Maple?

  1. Jun 14, 2015 #1
    Which mathematical software(s) can you recommend for
    1. As a substitute for a calculator (TI89): making basic graphs, regressions (linear, exponential), vectors, solving equations, showing graphs in 2d and 3d?
    2. Writing an ebook with lot's of math.

    I'm thinking Mathml or Mathtype might be easier to learn than latex for writing an ebook,
    For doing calculations in basic physics (classical mechanics) and calculus, I've heard maple is good, but is there an easier alternative? I'd imagine it has a bit of a learning curve.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2015 #2
    wow...such a short list and it manages to be all over the place, from a free publishing ecosystem (Latex), to equation editors, to a complete expensive computer algebra environment (Maple)...

    ...but it never fails...people insist on asking power to do whatever they want and they want to do it easily, these two things, though, have typically been on opposite ends of the spectrum...easy to use tools can only do simple things or just a few dedicated things; powerful tools have a learning curve.

    From the title, it sounded like you were asking for one thing, but the list included apples and oranges; your post, though, does list two things.

    For mathematical environment where you can do regressions, vectors, solving equations, I use Python (numpy, scipy, matplotlib); you can also generate 2d and 3d graphs. For a tool along the lines of literate programming like Mathcad, where you can type text with descriptions and explanations along with evaluated math and in-line graphs, there is the IPython Notebook...you can even produce documents to share with others and you can publish to pdf.

    For publishing, yes, there is Latex and a bunch of modules that you can use to do just about anything you want from included nice graphics and Python/matplotlib code that would be evaluated in the fly.

    If you want easy document creation, you can drop down to something like ReStructured Text; here, you can forget most everything about latex and only limit yourself to just learning how to type equations in latex...this does not take much and it is very useful even outside the Latex ecosystem...many other software accept equations latex...like ReStructured Text, matplotlib, etc.

    ...and all this is free.

    This is only one set of choices...there are more alternatives, of course.

  4. Jun 15, 2015 #3
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