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Mathematica as Algorithm Explorer?

(This was originally posted on, but the only
response I got was a suggestion to try here.)

Is anyone using Mathematica to explore graphics or image processing
algorithms?  I'm considering buying a copy of Mathematica for use in my
special-effects software work, but at that price I want to be sure that
I can really use it.

I've been poring over a copy of the student version that I got for my
son for Xmas ($150!), and was surprised to see that it has a discrete
math add-in that handles Delaunay trangulation and convex hull
computation, even drawing planar graphs and Voronoi diagrams. I'd not
used Mathematica before, so I was astonished to see how powerful a tool
this is. I'd assumed that it was a "fancy MathCAD".

Even written in Mathematica's high-level language, it seems fast enough
for my purposes with toy problems. The language feels a lot like a
modern Lisp, but with a more algebraic (and math, of course) notation.
It looks like it would take a few weeks of serious work to learn it
well enough to use for my purposes.

Are any of you using it for this sort of problem? Are you happy with the
results and your productivity?

Thanks for any opinions.

  - Stoney

Stonewall Ballard                    StoneSoft, Inc. Remove ".nospam"
before replying

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