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Re: Student v. Full version of Mathematica

  • Subject: [mg3253] Re: Student v. Full version of Mathematica
  • From: harrison at (David Harrison)
  • Date: 21 Feb 1996 14:28:00 -0600
  • Approved:
  • Distribution: local
  • Newsgroups: wri.mathgroup
  • Organization: University of Toronto - Dept. of Physics
  • Sender: daemon at

In article <4g58r4$rb0 at>,
Sarah Lonberg-Lew  <sarah at> wrote:

>I am looking to invest in Mathematica for my home computer and would like 
>some advice about whether or not to buy the full version.  I was told 
>that the student version is severly handicapped to the point where it 
>will not access the math co-processor ...

That is true.

In the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto, Mathematica
is one of the tools used for calculations in atmospheric physics.
Thus, we tried using these Mathematica programs for some "real world"
benchmarks.  The programs make extensive floating point calculations,
and we expected the student version to fare poorly compared to the
full version.  We did these a couple of years ago, and used our
fastest PC's, which were 80486 DX based with lots of memory.

To our surprise, in general the student version of Mathematica executed
at about 80% of the speed of the full version.  We found no case
where the student version was worse than 50% of the speed of the full
version, and a couple of cases were they were close to identical.

Sadly, a research group doesn't qualify for the student discount.  Also,
I believe the student version doesn't qualify for the MathPlus upgrade
program.  But I recommend it to my students, some of whom make very
computationally demanding usage of it.
David Harrison                             | "The senses do not lie, only 
Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto         |  they do not tell the truth."
Inet: harrison at |              -- Mach
Tel: 416-978-2977  Fax: 416-978-5848       |

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