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Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg127264] Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica
  • From: James Stein <mathgroup at stein.org>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 04:57:05 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <20120711222352.331C16853@smc.vnet.net>

I think Mathematica has a way of caching results, making further
evaluations of the same (or similar) computations run faster than
otherwise. This may play havoc with algorithm analysis. I've seen
surprising disparities in the time Mathematica takes to run the "same" 
code.


On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM, Brentt <brenttnewman at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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