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Minimal Programming Mathematics Software

  1. May 8, 2013 #1
    After using Matlab here and there whilst I was at university, I thought that although it was very powerful, its use was extremely cumbersome and slowed down what should be fairly simple processes like making 3D plots and solving ODEs, PDEs etc. That got me wondering if there were any programs out there that take out as much of the programming as possible and let you focus more on the mathematics. So if I decided to, say, solve the 2D wave equation and create a time varying 3D plot of the result, it wouldn't take me more than 5 minutes.

    Are there any programs out there that allow someone to do that?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2013 #2


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    IMHO, if you take the learning curve out of the software then you need to pre-program much more of the features. This makes it less useful, less adaptable, and it will produce more glitter than useful numbers/graphs. In order for it to be useful, people need to be able to customize the functions to their particular problem. In order to customize, they will have to spend a little time learning the software.

    That said, once you spend more time with MATLAB you can easily "solve the 2D wave equation and create a time varying 3D plot of the result" and it won't take more than 5 minutes.

    i.e. http://youtu.be/ySa6p5KGTXc
  4. May 20, 2013 #3
    Mathcad is probably what you are looking for. That said I personally don't like it.
  5. May 21, 2013 #4
    It is difficult to find one single piece of software that does everything easily. Also, typically, the more power you want the more you need to learn...unless you find a specific piece of software that specializes in one thing, it may make THAT easy.

    Having said that...I don't particularly use mathcad either...it is nice, easy, and close to what it is literate programming where you can keep explanations and calculations side-by-side.

    Presently, I have been doing my stuff with python and the various modules like numpy, scipy, matplotlib.

    I like browsing the net for open source initiatives...it is amazing what you can find out there.

    Over the past weekend, I found xmds which apparently makes it easy to do one of the things you mentioned (ODE, PDE).
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