Services & Resources / Wolfram Forums
-----
 /
MathGroup Archive
1999
*January
*February
*March
*April
*May
*June
*July
*August
*September
*October
*November
*December
*Archive Index
*Ask about this page
*Print this page
*Give us feedback
*Sign up for the Wolfram Insider

MathGroup Archive 1999

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: Re: Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg19808] Re: [mg19765] Re: [mg19677] Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods
  • From: "Andrzej Kozlowski" <andrzej at tuins.ac.jp>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 01:36:52 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I think your message is based on a confusion about what computers are and 
can do. They are machines, tools, and not intelligent beings. To use them
usefully you need more intelligence and knowledge not less. Mathematica is
basically a programming language, (in my opinion the best programming
language there is) and not a "Sim-Math" computer game,. It is as powerful as
the person who is using it. The reason why it is so good is not that it will
solve your problems for you but that it does not limit you: you can always
learn more and use it to a greater effect.

As for it being a tool for "the scientific middle class" and "way to weak
for people, who do serious mathematics or theoretical physics", well let me
fist say that I have used it to do computations that lead me to discover
published results in topology. But in case this is not convincing enough I
will end with the folowing quote from some one who is a bona fide member of
the "scientific aristocracy":

"Let me say by the way that this LISP started off as a three-hundred lines
of Mathematica. I invented this LISP using Mathematica as my programming
tool; I wrote this LISP interpreter in Mathematica. That way I could play
with my LISP and try it out as the design evolved. Mathematica is the most
powerful programming language that I know. "
(G.J. Chaitin, "The Limits of Mathematics", p. 76).


Andrzej Kozlowski
Professor of Mathematics
Toyama International University
JAPAN
http://sigma.tuins.ac.jp
http://eri2.tuins.ac.jp


----------
>From: Leszek Sczaniecki <leszek2 at home.com>
To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
>To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
>Subject: [mg19808] [mg19765] Re: [mg19677] Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods
>Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 03:53:11 -0400
>

>
>
> To many times I tried to replicate simple computations done by hand with
> Mathematica and was not able to get results that would justify the use of an
> expensive computer algebra system. Therefore, I understand very well the
> frustration of Prof. MacDonald. Here is a recent example.
>
> Consider a very simple problem from analytical geometry. There an ellipse
> with semi-latus rectum p and eccentricity e. You want to find semi-major
> axis a, and semi-minor axis b. This is clearly a high school problem.
>
> First, let's do it manually. We have p > 0, 0 < e < 1, a > b > 0.
>   p = b^2/a
>   e = Sqrt[a^2 - b^2]/a}
> from 0.
>
> e = Sqrt[a^2 - b^2]/a}
>    => e^2 = (a^2 - b^2)/a^2
>    => b^2/a^2 = 1-e^2
> p = b^2/a = (b^2/a^2) a = (1-e^2)a
>    => a = p/(1-e^2)
> p = b^2/a
>    => b^2 = p a = p^2 /(1-e^2)
>    => b = p /Sqrt[1-e^2] or b = -p /Sqrt[1-e^2]
> Because b > 0, b = p /Sqrt[1-e^2].
>
> Here is the result from Mathematica 4.0
> In[1]:=
> Solve[{p == b^2/a, e == Sqrt[a^2 - b^2]/a}, {a, b}] // InputForm
>
> Out[2]=
> {{b -> (-I*p)/Sqrt[-1 + e^2], a -> -(p/(-1 + e^2))},
>  {b -> (I*p)/Sqrt[-1 + e^2], a -> -(p/(-1 + e^2))}}
>
> There is no way to transfer the solution to the form obtained by hand. The
form
> returned by Solve is purely developer's decision. BTW, Mathematica 3.0
produces a
> different form of the result. Imagine yourself giving a lecture to high school
> students who are not familiar with complex numbers. How would you explain them
the
> solution?
>
> Luckily, there is a way to get the expected result by using InequalitySolve
(in
> 4.0).
>
> In[3]:= << Algebra`InequalitySolve`
>
> In[4]:=
> InequalitySolve[{p > 0, 0 < e < 1, a > b > 0, p == b^2/a,
>     e == Sqrt[a^2 - b^2]/a}, {e, p, a, b}]
>
> Out[4]=
> 0 < e < 1 && p > 0 && a == -(p/(-1 + e^2)) && b == Sqrt[a^2 - a^2*e^2]
>
> In[5]:=
> Simplify[{a, b} //. ToRules[Drop[%, 2]], Take[%, 2]] // InputForm
>
> Out[5]//InputForm=
> {-(p/(-1 + e^2)), p/Sqrt[1 - e^2]}
>
> I am positive, that an average Mathematica user would not figured out to use
> InequalitySolve. Also, notice that human would rather write the first term in
the
> form:
>   p/(1 - e^2).
> LeafCount for this form is 11. The Mathematica expression has LeafCount of 10.
> That clearly proves that LeafCount alone is not necessarily the best measure
of
> the simplicity (in human terms) of an expression.
>
> Let's now solve the equations posted by Prof. MacDonald with some human help.
We
> will solve first the equations for velocities (denoted by u[t] and v[t]). BTW,
I
> use InputForms to avoid expressions hard to read in ascii form.
>
> In[1]:=
> solution1 = {u[t], v[t]} /.
>       DSolve[{u'[t] == -(a u[t] + b v[t]),
>               v'[t] == -g - (a v[t] - b u[t])},
>                   {u[t], v[t]}, t] // InputForm
>
> Out[1]//InputForm=
> {{(a^2*C[1]*Cos[b*t] + b^2*C[1]*Cos[b*t] +
>     b*E^(a*t)*g*Cos[b*t]^2 - a^2*C[2]*Sin[b*t] -
>     b^2*C[2]*Sin[b*t] + b*E^(a*t)*g*Sin[b*t]^2)/
>    ((a - I*b)*(a + I*b)*E^(a*t)),
>   -((-(a^2*C[2]*Cos[b*t]) - b^2*C[2]*Cos[b*t] +
>      a*E^(a*t)*g*Cos[b*t]^2 - a^2*C[1]*Sin[b*t] -
>      b^2*C[1]*Sin[b*t] + a*E^(a*t)*g*Sin[b*t]^2)/
>     ((a - I*b)*(a + I*b)*E^(a*t)))}}
>
> At this point imagine yourself advocating Mathematica to golf players not
familiar
> with the concept of complex numbers.:-) Good luck in explaining what
ComplexExpand
> and TargetFunctions do!
>
> In[2]:=
> FullSimplify[ComplexExpand[solution1, TargetFunctions -> {Im, Re}]]
>
> Out[2]//InputForm=
> {{(b*g)/(a^2 + b^2) + (C[1]*Cos[b*t] - C[2]*Sin[b*t])/
>     E^(a*t), -((a*g)/(a^2 + b^2)) +
>    (C[2]*Cos[b*t] + C[1]*Sin[b*t])/E^(a*t)}}
>
> Very good! This is a pretty simple form. Now we have to integrate both terms
and
> add a constant to each of them.
>
> In[3]:=
> solution2 = Integrate[%, t] + {{C[3], C[4]}} // InputForm
>
> Out[3]//InputForm=
> {{(b*g*t)/(a^2 + b^2) + C[3] +
>    ((-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*Cos[b*t])/((-I*a + b)*(I*a + b)*
>      E^(a*t)) + ((b*C[1] + a*C[2])*Sin[b*t])/
>     ((-I*a + b)*(I*a + b)*E^(a*t)),
>   -((a*g*t)/(a^2 + b^2)) + C[4] -
>    ((b*C[1] + a*C[2])*Cos[b*t])/((a - I*b)*(a + I*b)*
>      E^(a*t)) - ((a*C[1] - b*C[2])*Sin[b*t])/
>     ((a - I*b)*(a + I*b)*E^(a*t))}}
>
> Well, we got complex expressions again. Simplify and FullSimplify don't help
much.
>
> In[4]:=
> FullSimplify[ComplexExpand[solution2, TargetFunctions -> {Im, Re}]]
>
> Out[4]//InputForm=
> {{(E^(a*t)*(b*g*t + (a^2 + b^2)*C[3]) +
>     (-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*
>      Sin[b*t])/((a^2 + b^2)*E^(a*t)),
>   (E^(a*t)*(-(a*g*t) + (a^2 + b^2)*C[4]) -
>     (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*Cos[b*t] + (-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*
>      Sin[b*t])/((a^2 + b^2)*E^(a*t))}}
>
> Take the first term.
>
> In[5]:=
> LeafCount[(E^(a*t)*(b*g*t + (a^2 + b^2)*C[3]) + (-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*
>           Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*Sin[b*t])/((a^2 + b^2)*E^(a*t))]
>
> Out[5]=
> 67
>
> Any person with decent high school education can momentarily simplify this
> expression.
>
> ((b*g*t) + E^(-a*t)((-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*
> Sin[b*t]))/((a^2 + b^2)) + C[3]
>
> In[6]:=
> LeafCount[((b*g*t) +
>           E^(-a*t)((-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*
>                   Sin[b*t]))/((a^2 + b^2)) + C[3]]
>
> Out[6]=
> 55
>
> In[7]:=
> ((b*g*t) + E^(-a*t)((-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*
>                     Sin[b*t]))/((a^2 + b^2)) +
>       C[3] == (E^(a*t)*(b*g*t + (a^2 + b^2)*C[3]) + (-(a*C[1]) + b*C[2])*
>             Cos[b*t] + (b*C[1] + a*C[2])*Sin[b*t])/((a^2 + b^2)*
>           E^(a*t)) // FullSimplify
>
> Out[7]=
> True
>
> Additionally, a human can notice that appropriately choosing the constants,
one
> can further simplify the expression.
>
> b*g*t/(a^2 + b^2) + E^(-a*t)(C[1]*Cos[b*t] + C[2]*Sin[b*t]) + C[3]
>
> (LeafCount of 38) or
>
> b*g*t/(a^2 + b^2) + E^(-a*t)*C[1]*Cos[b*t + C[2]] + C[3]
>
> (LeafCount of 32). As you can see, there are simpler solutions than those
produced
> by Mathematica.
>
> 10 - 12 years ago an average mathematics, physics, or engineering student
could
> solve these equations by hand and in time much shorter I needed to get a
solution
> with help of Mathematica for just one variable. Ironically, there is well
known
> exact solution for the differential equation of the form
>
>    d x
>    --- = A x + B
>    d t
>
> in Banach space. From there one can get a solution for the case when A is a
> matrix, and x, B are vectors.
>
> Here is my point. Mathematica can certainly do plenty of problems much better
than
> human. But, it is very, very frustrating, that in trivial cases the system
often
> produces results worse then those delivered by a human. I see this as the
> challenge for Mathematica developers. The system should always produce better
> results than human. Presently, Mathematica is a tool for some kind of
"scientific
> lower middle class". It is way to weak for people, who do serious mathematics
or
> theoretical physics, and way to complicated for pedestrians. If Wolfram
Research
> Inc. truly intents to reach "masses", it has to be more sensitive to their
needs.
>
> --Leszek
>
> Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>
>> I don't think of myself as a "computer algebra nerd" and I don't play golf
>> but it seems to me that Mathemaitca does this problem rather well:
>>
>> In[2]:=
>> solution = {y[t], x[t]} /. DSolve[{x''[t] == - (a x'[t] + b y'[t]),
>>      y''[t] == - g - (a y'[t] - b x'[t])}, {y[t], x[t]}, t];
>>
>> In[3]:=
>> Simplify[ComplexExpand[solution, TargetFunctions -> {Im, Re}]]
>>
>> Out[3]=
>>       1        a t   4         3
>> {{---------- (E    (a  C[1] + a  (-g t + C[3]) +
>>     2    2 2
>>   (a  + b )
>>
>>              2                  2
>>           a b  (-g t + C[3]) + b  (-g + b (b C[1] + C[4])) +
>>
>>            2
>>           a  (g + b (2 b C[1] + C[4]))) -
>>
>>          2    2
>>        (a  + b ) (a C[3] + b C[4]) Cos[b t] -
>>
>>          2    2                                  a t
>>        (a  + b ) (-b C[3] + a C[4]) Sin[b t]) / E   ,
>>
>>        1        a t   4         3
>>    ---------- (E    (a  C[2] + b  (g t + b C[2] - C[3]) +
>>      2    2 2
>>    (a  + b )
>>
>>            2                              3
>>           a  b (g t + 2 b C[2] - C[3]) + a  C[4] +
>>
>>           a b (-2 g + b C[4])) -
>>
>>          2    2
>>        (a  + b ) (-b C[3] + a C[4]) Cos[b t] +
>>
>>          2    2                                 a t
>>        (a  + b ) (a C[3] + b C[4]) Sin[b t]) / E   }}
>>
>> --
>> Andrzej Kozlowski
>> Toyama International University
>> JAPAN
>> http://sigma.tuins.ac.jp
>> http://eri2.tuins.ac.jp
>>
>> ----------
>> >From: "William M. MacDonald" <wm2 at umail.umd.edu>
To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
> To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
>> >To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
>> >Subject: [mg19808] [mg19765] [mg19677] Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods
>> >Date: Thu, Sep 9, 1999, 3:19 PM
>> >
>>
>> >
>> > I want to use the study of golf drives in teaching theoretical methods.  An
>> > approximate pair of equations to get insight assumes that the drag force is
>> >  linearly  proportional to velocity, instead of the actual quadratic
>> >  dependence.  The equations for a ball with backspin to provide lift are
>> >      x''[t]== - (a x'[t]+b y'[t]),
>> >      y''[t]== - g - (a y'[t]- b x'[t])
>> >  Mathematica returns a very complicated and apparently complex expression
in
>> >  about 9 seconds on my 250 MHz G3 Powerbook.  Simplify takes 1min and 20
>> >  seconds and still returns an apparently complex expression.  If I apply
>> >  FullSimplify on the solution for say x[t], I get no answer in 6 minutes.
>> >
>> >      I have a PC version of another system that I can run on my Powerbook
>> using
>> >  Virtual PC.  It requires 6 seconds to deliver a lengthy but obviously
real,
>> >  no Exp[(a+ I b)t] terms or (a + I b)(a - I b) terms.
>> >
>> >      I have never been able to learn why Mathematica is so slow in solving
>> >  coupled equations and returns (as USUAL unless you use Simplify) such
>> >  inelegant results.  Is there any computer algebra NERD out
>> >  there who knows the answer.  (Don't tell me to use AlgebraicManipulation;
I
>> >  am trying to sell Mathematica to users who don't want to spend time
>> > learning
>> >  fancy tricks.)
>> >
>> > --
>> > William M. MacDonald
>> > Professor of Physics
>> > University of Maryland
>> >
>> > Internet: wm2 at umail.umd.edu
>> >
>> >
>
> 


  • Prev by Date: Re: typesetting piecewise function
  • Next by Date: F[f_,x_]:=f[x] ?
  • Previous by thread: Re: Re: Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods
  • Next by thread: Re: Mathematica can't win against Tiger Woods