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Old 10th May 2004, 03:05 PM   #1
rif is offline rif  United States
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Default Matlab or Mathematica -- which is your preference?

I haven't used either in many years and am now totally out of the loop on what's out there/appropriate for our hobby.

I've always preferred Matlab over others by a wide margin, but that was sometime last century (remember back when CD Rom drives were expensive and there were "hundreds" of webistes to look at on Mosaic!)
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Old 10th May 2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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I found Matlab to be very intuitive in the very old days. I never figured out how to use Mathematica and I even have the book!

I believe that Mathematica is symbolic maths oriented and the most capable package out there. I believe Matlab is more numerical oriented. There is also another alternative which is called Maple which should be an easy to use symbolic maths oriented application.

Of course this is very old and stale "view of the world". If I had the choice, I would prefer to be an expert in Mathematica.

In the end it would come down to what your goals are and what third party add-ons you require.


(perhaps I should not have posted this - you probably know more about this than I do).
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Old 10th May 2004, 06:41 PM   #3
JohnG is offline JohnG  United States
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You may want to look at SCILAB or Octave. Both are free. Octave is a M*TL*B clone and SCILAB is very similiar. Both run on Linux, Windoze, and Mac (with X11). My personal opinion is that Octave has a little more compatibility, but SCILAB is close. SCILAB has perhaps more capability.

If you used MATLAB of old, you should be able to dive right in. I use SCILAB and like it.



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Old 10th May 2004, 08:34 PM   #4
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I just started using Mathematica again after at least a 10 year lapse. It is truly amazing. Back when I was using both Mathcad and Mathematica ( and it was mainly Mathematica) I preferred Mathematica and it is even more amazing now. I am mainly doing symbolic manipulation...haven't gotten to the number crunching yet....but Mathematica has the symbolic power I need and is certainly numeric capable at least for my needs. On top of everything it is fairly easy to use once you get going.

I suspect Scientists will prefer Mathematica and Engineers Mathcad.

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Old 10th May 2004, 08:45 PM   #5
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I prefer Mathcad because it's good looking, intuitive and can do symbolic calculations (like Maple) without the dammed pascal notations. If you do mostly numerical calculations [like the Tube Spice model generator (I love it)] matlab is the standard I think.
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Old 11th May 2004, 03:55 AM   #6
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Originally posted by 1/137
Back when I was using both Mathcad and Mathematica
Can Mathematica read Mathcad files?

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Old 11th May 2004, 04:41 AM   #7
RKH is offline RKH  United States
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Default different beasts... mostly

At one time or another, I've used both extensivley. Each has there own strengths and weaknesses. In short, Mathematica shines as a symbolic processor and Matlab is a fabulous data and numerical analysis tool. Each has there devotees and, if you work hard enough, you can accomplish most tasks in either. Matlab has a 'c' programming language feel to it. Mathematica can be a syntax nightmare, though it has come a long way. At one time or another, I've been an advocate/fanatic for/about both of them.

If you defined the task you were trying to accomplish, I could probably recommend one or the other.

Dave (planet10): I don't think MMA will read MathCad files.

Lighten up while you still can ...
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Old 11th May 2004, 05:34 AM   #8
mbroker is offline mbroker  United States
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Originally posted by Posthorn
I prefer Mathcad because it's good looking, intuitive and can do symbolic calculations (like Maple) without the dammed pascal notations.
I do'nt know what the current incarnation of MathCAD is like, but both versions 2000 and 2001 were quite inferior to Mathematica at symbolically solving anything remotely complicated (or even simple with a lot of terms). I should hunt up a demo copy of the latest version to see if it's improved....

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