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What Software do you use to do your math manipulations?

  1. May 21, 2017 #1
    Hello
    I have recently started to study General Relativity through a bunch of lecture notes in my spare time. I never got a chance to take up this topic while at uni. I wanted to work through the equations so as to better digest the material. The catch is I am trying to establish a workflow where I can type out all of my notes on my laptop and upload. I wanted to know if there is any software which would allow to do the mathematics (including working through the equations) on my laptop itself. I am not against using the pen-and-paper approach, I am simply looking to experiment. Any opinions / suggestions are most welcome.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2017 #2

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    You could use LaTex editors. LaTex libraries are also loaded to interpret the formulas here on PF.

    There are several of them available for free to download. I like TeXstudio very much, but there are also others. To learn LaTex code you will find a lot of help on the internet as well. A good start might be our own introduction page:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/help/latexhelp/

    I also frequently use

    http://detexify.kirelabs.org/symbols.html
    https://www.sharelatex.com/learn/Spacing_in_math_mode
    http://anorien.csc.warwick.ac.uk/mirrors/CTAN/info/symbols/comprehensive/symbols-letter.pdf
     
  4. May 21, 2017 #3
    I agree its definitely better to use latex. I have been using https://arachnoid.com/latex/ . I tried using Sage, Sympy but Latex is just so convenient to use (of course once you know how to write it).
     
  5. May 21, 2017 #4

    robphy

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    Of course, ##\LaTeX## is just for typesetting [which is great if that's all you want],
    unlike Sage, SymPy, Maple, etc... which does symbolic computation... with features to export to (say) ##\LaTeX##.
    I think the goal to "do the mathematics (including working through the equations)" has some ambiguity.
     
  6. May 21, 2017 #5

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    You could consider iPython and Julia (matlab like language) for numerical computing and plotting.

    Mathematica can do symbolic stuff but not sure about tensors per se.

    On iPad theres Notability for taking notes, recording lectures and drawing quick diagrams.

    Sometimes the best solution is a pencil and paper with a good eraser and then scan or take a photo.
     
  7. May 21, 2017 #6

    robphy

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    Long before the iPad and its stylus support, there have been Windows-based TablePCs which support a Wacom or nTrig stylus. I have been using them since 2003.
    (Microsoft Surface is a modern version of the TabletPC.)

    Using Windows Journal [included], I've been taking and maintain notes electronically---taking advantage of being able to copy+paste, erase, move, and recolor its digital ink, etc... which can't be done easily on paper or on a whiteboard or on a photo.
    Here's a screenshot of part of one of my pages.

    upload_2017-5-21_20-43-39.png

    I can also paste in graphics or text captured from other tools [like Acrobat Reader or Maple] and mark them up. (By the way, [although far from perfect] text obtained automatically from handwriting recognition is searchable by WIndows.) Some folks may prefer OneNote, which is part of Microsoft Office.


    At some point, I may render important notes with LaTeX..
    but sometimes LaTeXing takes too much time.

    Windows' Math Input Panel seems like a potentially useful tool:
    http://www.digitalcitizen.life/do-math-easy-way-math-input-panel
    .. but it doesn't seem to export to LaTeX directly.
    See also:
    https://www.dessci.com/en/products/mathtype/popup_mip.htm
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  8. May 21, 2017 #7

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    One nice feature notability has is it can tie a recording time point to what you draw on the canvas. Later tapping on the drawing will jump to that point in the playback.
     
  9. May 21, 2017 #8

    robphy

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