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Re: Memory Blowup Issues

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  • Subject: [mg126823] Re: Memory Blowup Issues
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 02:16:01 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <jqsa3j$dej$>

On 6/8/2012 12:37 AM, Bill Rowe wrote:

> This almost certainly won't happen with Mathematica. BASIC was
> designed to be a beginner's programming language. Mathematica is
> designed to be a very powerful mathematical toolset.

I think that Wolfram's ambition is/was that Mathematica's underlying
language (without the "Math" stuff) would be recognized as the ideal
blend of programming features and esthetic melding of design for all
purposes, including introductory programming, typesetting, web design,
parallel computation, etc.

It hasn't happened.

  And it
> seems clear Wolfram intends to increase the power of this
> toolset and extend it to additional areas of computation. To
> really make effective use of Mathematica you really need a solid
> understanding to mathematics and numerical computation, quite a
> bit deeper understanding than what is required for something
> like BASIC.

Actually, if you look around at the questions here, you see that
many of them have almost nothing to do with advanced math
(e.g. plotting!) or numerical calculation (except to display
ignorance of numerical analysis.)
> True, if all you do with Mathematica is use it as a super
> scientific calculator, you don't need any deeper understanding
> than what would be required for BASIC.

And if you use it to draw pictures,  or make web pages, ...

  But, I would strongly
> argue this isn't making significant use of Mathematica's
> capabilities.

I suspect that if you measured the hours and expense of building
Mathematica's non-math portions -- graphics, front-end, ... and
also included the overall business expenses (marketing, public
relations, ...)  you would find that the math part is not
so significant.  If Wolfram Research employs 400 people (I assume
this number in the wikipedia article was put there by Wolframites),
how many of them do you think are PhD applied mathematicians?
5 percent?

  There are far less expensive solutions for such
> calculations that are much easier to master than Mathematica.

Maybe the secret is for Wolfram Research should offer a version without 
the Math, as a $0.99 app download to iphones and droids. Or give it
away, subsidized by the Wolfram|Alpha revenue.

> course, these lack the power Mathematica offers.

With great power comes great responsibility..

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