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Re: Engineering requests

On Mar 2, 11:49 pm, "McHale, Paul" <Paul.McH... at> wrote:
> So, here are some problems we face, but don't have great answers for in Mathematica.
> 1. Dimensional analysis.  To do this, we must have unit support.  The best description of this is the ability to calculate (V/R)^2 R and have it return a unit of watts.  Other programs handily support this (though they are sorely lacking in other places :))

McCloone has a units package which does a reasonable job. For built in
support you need to use one of two other products that have this out
of the box. Other programs have been founded by engineers and
specifically been designed for the needs of the much larger
engineering market. Mathematica isn't really a player in engineering. That may
change when MathModelica gets integrated by Wolfram has been a
follower in this market segment and has a lot of catch up to do.

> 2. Tolerances support.  One difficulty we have is determining the min/max at a certain point in a circuit even if the circuit is not complicated to model.  I use lists {Rmax,Rmin} and Table.  Works, but is a little clumsy.

probably best to stick with the two other products that handle this
out of the box.

> 3. More efficient writing of documents.  Much easier ability to minimize code segments that offer little to the non-Mathematica user.  Could be just a click in the left side column.  Code closing only please.  People will read the text box explanation and view the results below as with most text books.

I'm an advocate of Mathematica for writing documents, in particular compared
to the other engineering oriented programs you have in mind.
Unfortunately recently they took one step forward (adding referencing
capabilities) and two steps back (failing to keep AuthorTools up to
date). For Mac users it was just two steps back. Feature addition and
removal for authoring seems like a random walk.

> 4. Toolbox/palette support/ code insertion.  This is getting better. Much better.
> 5. ITAR deployment with PlayerPro.  I need to share my work in an ITAR environment.  This is essential.  ITAR violations can result in fines that are in the millions and millions of dollars.  PlayerPro is synonymous in functionality to the .Net library.  I need it to deploy my "applications".  $200 is acceptable.  I just need a way to "compile" to PlayerPro without external resources.
> 6. ListFFT[].  This is an unusual request.  99% of the data we engineers deal with is evenly spaced sample data.  Most of the FFT activity I have ever seen involves getting the FFT from a list of data and plotting Real[].  Simplified, I know.  Since most of our data is in the form {{t1, sample1},{t2, sample2},{t3, sample3}} the time information is embedded.  In fact, all information is available to perform an FFT.  Just saying it makes life easier.  Could offer options like Results->{Real, Imaginary, Both}
> 7. The most compact document would be the familiar whiteboard.  It would be cool to see a version with this mode of document.  Workbench is a step in the other direction.  Mathematica white board document would require no learning if it had palettes.  I say this because the engineers have access to another (significantly lesser) product and are eating it up.

I made a video on how you could use Mathematica as a whiteboard but it
is not really a solution when lined up against the other product you
mentioned. Unfortunately the other product has really done quite well
since it was purchased by a major software company in 2006 and it
ships about twice as many units as Mathematica -- which IMO indicates a demand
for the features you have described.


> Just some thoughts.  If other engineers are reading this, chime in if you don't mind.  I can't believe how much Mathematica has helped.  Seriously hard problems were successfully achieved and conveyed to a very stringent customer in record time.  Nothing else would have worked.
> BTW, they are finally buying me my own copy so I don't have to use my personal copy anymore.  This is after buying everyone else seats of other software.
> Kind Regards,
> Paul
> Paul McHale  |  Electrical Engineer, Energetics Systems  |  Excelitas Technologies Corp.
> Phone:   +1 937.865.3004   |   Fax:  +1 937.865.5170   |   Mobile:   +1 937.371.2828
> 1100 Vanguard Blvd, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342-0312 USA
> Paul.McH... at
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