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Re: Simplifying and Rearranging Expressions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg96008] Re: Simplifying and Rearranging Expressions
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 04:40:21 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <gls1u8$hjl$1@smc.vnet.net> <15441402.1233316177571.JavaMail.root@m02> <gm0q6p$rpr$1@smc.vnet.net>

In article <gm0q6p$rpr$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 "David Park" <djmpark at comcast.net> wrote:

> Nevertheless, I would still argue that users should be encouraged to do
> derivations completely ACTIVELY using Mathematica. They may think about the
> principles, strategy and tactics of a derivation when they are away from
> Mathematica. But implementing a derivation or proof actively on Mathematica
> has many advantages.

I'll back down on my recent assertions on this point.  People doing 
analyses should do them in whatever way works for them, and both David 
and I can well have different but valid suggestions on this.

What I'm not at all ready to back down on at all-- and what Andrzej 
Kozlowski appears to agree with me on, at least partially -- is the 
broader assertion:  

Proposing to do analysis; numerical calculation; graphing and animation; 
and preparation of final expositions or presentations (i.e., reports, 
articles, talks, online web sites), using just one massive "integrated" 
package (e.g., Mathematica) and/or one single format (e.g., Mathematica 
notebooks), is an absolutely bad, undesirable, misguided, unworkable 
idea.

It may be workable, even convenient, in some limited cases:  A simple 
derivation, leading to a simple report or memo, which also functions as 
a seminar presentation or class lecture.

But as a general or universal approach, it's a terrible idea, for many 
reasons, not all of these connected specifically with Mathematica, but 
with many of them very well illustrated by Mathematica.


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