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Mathematica What is program is better mathematica or matlab?

  1. Jun 14, 2015 #1
    If you are a professor is it better to use Mathematica or Matlab when it comes to publishing papers, which program creates the best graphs. I have origin as well.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2015 #2
    It depends on what you are doing as far as I can tell from rather limited experience.
    I used mathematica for symbolic calculations and a little bit of numerical work on differential equations.
    Matlab I used for setting up simulation codes. And it was great at that (mathematica not so much in my opinion).

    About graphing, doesn't really matter. I did however use R once to create some 'exotic' graphs.
    If you want simple scatter-plots with a fit I suppose both are comparable.
  4. Jun 14, 2015 #3
    The most time-efficient tool for a professor to create graphs for publications is a system called "phd student" :biggrin:
  5. Jun 14, 2015 #4


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    There is a number of very puzzling issues with this post.

    1. What does being a "professor" have any relevance to this?

    2. What is the definition of "better"? What is better for "A" may not be better for "B". A very wise and well-known tech expert, when once asked for the best word processor software in the world, replied "It is the one you use most often".

    3. There is no such thing as "the best graphs". You can create an identical graph using many different packages. What is more important is YOUR creativity and sensible understanding of what a graph needs to convey clearly! This requires experience and thoughtfulness, not a better graphic package. You can buy the most expensive and "best" violin in the world, and you will still be unable to create a wonderful tune if you are a crappy musician.

    4. This is not an Academic Guidance question, but rather, a tech question.

  6. Jun 14, 2015 #5


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    JorisL has the best answer. When doing symbolic work, Mathematica is much easier to use. It is also very easy to use in creating figures like lattices or symbolic band structures (graphene for example). However, matlab is much better for doing numerical work, like solving Einstein's equations for a given system for example.
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