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MathGroup Archive 2012

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Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?

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  • Subject: [mg127267] Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?
  • From: "djmpark" <djmpark at comcast.net>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 04:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
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I'm not an expert at computer science so others may have something better to
say there.

But I think your "Pros" argument is correct. Mathematica is broad enough and
deep enough that it is worthwhile getting good at it and it takes time.

Are you aware of the book "Computer Science with Mathematica" by Roman E.
Maeder. It was published in 2000 for Version 4, but is still probably plenty
useful.


David Park
djmpark at comcast.net 
http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html 



From: Brentt [mailto:brenttnewman at gmail.com] 


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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