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Numerical Methods (Java vs Matlab)

  1. Jul 9, 2010 #1
    Hello to all

    I've been wondering about the skills needed for doing a research degree. I've been looking at the Matlab language recently and it seems somewhat similar to Java. Is Java just as easy to use as Matlab for doing numerical methods? I'd be interested in hearing your views.

    Thank you

    (Apologies for putting this in academic guidance. It seems like there are a lot of people contributing in here, who are in graduate school or are academics.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2010 #2
    I never see people using Java for numerical methods. The widely used ones are the Mathcad, Mathematica. Any may be some more software should be there. To me the usage of these software mainly depends on what purpose you prefer. For eg., for peak Origin is best. And gnuplot for all-round work. Plotting XMgrace (this can also do fitting and some numerical methods, but time consuming). I normally make my own C-program for simple/average level work. But i recommend you to learn some programming for sure it will help you.
    hope this helps.
  4. Jul 9, 2010 #3
    They're really pretty different. Java is a full programming language, while matlab is a 'computing environment'--effectively just a program that reads scripts/etc.

    In the end Java (like c/c++/obj-c) is far more powerful as you have a much broader range of tools to use, and fewer restrictions on how you piece them together. At the same time, those very same reasons make java a little more difficult in that it is much more complicated, and harder to learn.

    I think a good way to explain it is that: a research assistant would use matlab--its often enough to get the job done; a researcher would use a full programming language (probably C/C++) because they need the power and flexibility.
  5. Jul 9, 2010 #4
    My reason for asking was, well, I already have learned to program in Java. But I was doing a course in shell scripting with Unix, and I found that when I left Java for a while and then went back to programming in Java I found it difficult to get back into thinking in Java. I don't wanna start using Matlab and find out its limited and that I have to start re thinking about what other languages I should be using.
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