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Mathematica, MatLab, MathCAD... I have no idea do u?

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If someone can shed some light on the merits of each of these systems I would appreciate it. I don''t have a lot of time to figure it out, and go through the technical understanding of getting to know each of these software systems. I want to be able to do some Graph Theory, Abstract Math and some Geometry too. I have heard that these systems will probably do for doing those things but most text don''t go into that kind of stuff. They instead tour the fundamentals of understanding the proram. I would like to know just if one of them is better than the others. Currently I am using Mathematica -- but have access to the other two programs so I would appreciate the opinion of someone experienced in the use of the other two and mathematic -- if there is such a person. Anyway thanks, L- " ''No one has control -- control is just a fantasy. And being human is difficult.'' "

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Matlab is primarily a number crunher whereas Mathematice is (mainly) a engine for symbolig algebra and calculus.

Now, for Matlab you can get tons of add-on modules called toolboxes for all various areas of science. You can f.ex. get a symbolic toolbox that incorporates Maple and thus works much like Mathematica.

Mathematica /is/ superior for symbolic algebra though, but for any numeric work Matlab is /the/ tool.

BUT nowadays the products are very much alike. Matlab is probably used more in the real world tho' (but also insanely expensive).

I use Maltab myself for image processing (it has a good toolbox for that).

MathCad I really don't know much about.

There's no place like

[edited by - rohde on June 10, 2004 12:46:25 PM]

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Question what is ''Maple''? Sort of GUI front end?
From that explanation tt sounds like Mathematica might be the choice seeing as I would like to work more on Abstract Algebra and such...

Thanks for the reply,

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Maple is a slightly different system - it is much newer than the other ones, so its language more closely resembles Python and other scripting languages instead of Maple, which is basically interactive C with better matrix support.

Maple is nice because you write functions as functions, and can solve them.

So you can write
f:=(x=y^2 + 5 bla bla bla)

and then say solve(f, x) which would solve the function f for the variable x.

It does all this while echoing back your inputs with a nice, real mathematical formula representation using integral signs and over/under division and the like. I find I use it often as a substitute for the MS formula equation editor.

Plus, it stores all numerical data not as numbers but as a parse tree - so it can store 4.5 literally as 9/2. This makes it really really slow, but it nicely avoids floating point error and the like that way.

I don''t know how it works for graph theory, abstract math, etc. - but I love using it for complex algebra and nasty differential equations. Its not as nice as Matlab for writing matrices as it doens''t have nice aggregates for making them, but still the matrix algebra support is very good.

Its slower than matlab, but for many purposes it is a comparative dream to work with.

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