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expanding the use of symbolic computation in engineering .. was Re:

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  • Subject: [mg130876] expanding the use of symbolic computation in engineering .. was Re:
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at>
  • Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 04:06:37 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <kmngb2$3rv$> <> <knhnvd$9k6$>

On 5/21/2013 11:18 PM, mathgroup wrote:
> I want to comment on my experience , limited of course, with  students of
> Engineering, Engineers and Professors of background is
> Physics...
> First,  I get the impression that , in the main, Symbolic Computation, etc.
> is not something they are really interested in...
> Again, of course, this is my limited experience...Perhaps others have had
> different and better ones...
> Jerry Blimbaum

I think your experience is typical, and that the "sweet spot" for 
engineering computation is not in symbolic computation nor Mathematica
in particular. Certainly educators don't view symbolic computation
as key to any particular course that is in the core curriculum. See
for example...

my own institution, University of California at Berkeley describes the
curriculum here:

no mention of Mathematica, though a numeric program is mentioned
in the TITLE of one course on computer programming.

Searching through the whole ME web site reveals that a few courses
allow that proficiency in some programming language, which could be
in Mathematica, is recommended or required. Proficiency in Mathematica
as a job skill... uh, lists 19 jobs with a keyword of
Mathematica.  at least 6 of them are at Mathematica Policy Research,
unrelated to the program.  Over 1000 for some others.

Usually the "killer app" for computer algebra is thought to be something 
related to education or perhaps testing.  There are too
few actual "mathematical researchers" to make much of a market.

So one strategy for WRI is to make Mathematica competitive in areas
that have little or nothing to do with symbolic computation. And
that is what it is doing.

Web design and service
Knowledge, uh, stuff. Data base
Graphics, animation, games,
Numerics, statistics, traditional application packages (e.g. signals,
materials, control...)
Business "analytics"

So all you people who say that SW should buckle down and do
the symbolic math right  (or do the arbitrary precision
arithmetic or intervals or other fundamentals right).

yeah, you can ask for that, but don't hold your breath. WRI
is a commercial operation.


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