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MathGroup Archive 2012

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Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg127261] Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?
  • From: Brentt <brenttnewman at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:23:52 -0400 (EDT)
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  • Delivered-to: mathgroup-newout@smc.vnet.net
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Hi,

I'm an undergrad math major, and taking a cross disciplinary Algorithm
Analysis course in the fall. I talked to the professor and he said we can
use whichever language we like and Mathematica would be fine if it had a
way to evaluate run-time.

Two questions:

I think the required capabilities are those found in the documentation
under "Time Measurement & Optimization". Would this be correct? And would
those functions be adequate for an algorithm analysis course?


I know this list would be a little biased but: should I use Mathematica?

Cons:  I absolutely adore Mathematica and never find myself wanting to
program in anything else (I've toyed with Python and other languages, but
Mathematica inspires me to play with programming like other languages have
not), and thought committing to Python for the class might expand my
programming skills. Also I'm guessing the course will focus on procedural
algorithms which might not be a good fit for Mathematica's functional
paradigm. I know Mathematica can be shoehorned in to any paradigm, but
maybe it'd be better to use a more procedural language.

Pros: I will learn Mathematica with more depth, and there are good reasons
to get really good at one thing as opposed to OK at many things. Plus what
I learn in Mathematica may just as well translate to other languages anyway
so it may not be a big deal which I choose.

Input anyone?



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