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RE: Comparison between Mathematica and other symbolic systems

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  • Subject: [mg92518] RE: [mg92378] Comparison between Mathematica and other symbolic systems
  • From: "William E. Bohrer" <bohrer1 at>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 04:37:15 -0400 (EDT)

Hi everybody,

As part of a presentation to students, I will have to support the
claim that "Mathematica is better than other systems when it comes to
symbolic computations". Some experts in other systems will be  
giving a 15 min presentation to convince the audience of the contrary,
and then it will be my turn.

At this point I am quite clueless on how to make my point across.
First of all, I am not at all familiar with any other system's  
symbolic toolboxes, so I don't know what are the weaknesses. Also, I
am not sure what kind of demo could really make an impression on
graduate students and colleagues.

Has any of you any experience on this? Ideas? Suggestions?

Thank you!
Prof. Paolo Bientinesi, Ph.D.
RWTH Aachen University, AICES
pauldj at
pauldj at

Hello Paolo!

Suggestion one:  if the other experts presenting are willing to cooperate to
some extent, to prevent the presentation from becoming an apples vs. oranges
presentation; you may wish to ask them what sort of problems they are
addressing.  With that information, if it is possible to get it, you may
wish to ask this group what examples they have on hand or have seen that
would be good to show grad students and colleagues.

Suggestion two:  you could consider using the demonstration of Mathematica
used by Heikki Ruskeepaa in Chapter 1 of the Mathematica Navigator because
it is a visually impressive, fast paced look at the range and capability of
Mathematica by looking at Merseene numbers.  The usefulness of this
suggestion depends a lot on whether the audience already knows anything
about Mathematica or not.

Suggestion three:  you may well be obligated to give the entire
presentation, however, if time permits, you might be able to ask a graduate
student to either make the presentation or assist with the presentation.  If
possible this should be an articulate, beautiful woman.  If any of the grad
students I know heard a beautiful woman say something good about
Mathematica, they would embrace Mathematica as the best of all possible
symbolic computational tools.

Suggestion four:  share this challenge with your Mathematica representative.
With a challenge like this coming up, they might be willing to offer some
ideas, assistance, presentation examples, etc.

Comment:  actually, I am so happy with Mathematica that I know either
nothing or next to nothing about any competing systems.

Good Luck!

Bill Bohrer
bohrer1 at

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