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Re: Mathematica and Lisp

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  • Subject: [mg129592] Re: Mathematica and Lisp
  • From: "W. Craig Carter" <ccarter at MIT.EDU>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:59:26 -0500 (EST)
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  • References: <kcqkv4$lq5$> <kct7fj$sgo$> <kd03ej$6dl$> <kd2ltk$cog$> <kd7tsg$q3s$> <kdanpt$3d5$> <kdlfp1$117$> <kdnoak$725$> <> <>

On Jan 26, 2013, at 1:38 AM, Murray Eisenberg <murray at> wrote:

> On Jan 25, 2013, at 1:34 AM, Richard Fateman <fateman at> wrote:
>> ...
>> .
>> There seems to be a fairly strong consensus that for numerical
>> programming there are other competitors favored in engineering schools.
> At least some of that "fairly strong consensus" may be ill-founded today, after Mathematica's numerical methods have evolved.
> Typically I encounter engineers and scientists who assure me that M****b is oh so much better than Mathematica, yet they have never actually tried Mathematica in a serious way or looked into efficiency comparisons. They were raised on M****b and so they're convinced it's the be-all and end-all for numerical work, and how dare anybodtry to tell them otherwise -- any evidence to the contrary be damned.

I believe that this is an accurate stereotype of my engineering colleagues---I've been struggling to persuade them to try something else for years now. There are some math and cs departments (eg, my institution) that default to M*b as well for teaching and numerical computations.  Many claim that the syntax is too obscure;  I'm curious to see if the new predictive interface alleviates this.

For the engineers, I believe the recalcitrance could be reduced with *many* more working and documented examples of NDSolve. The wolfram tutorial on advanced numerical solutions to pdes is fine but sparse on examples; the book doesn't target engineers.


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