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Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!

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  • Subject: [mg130889] Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
  • From: "mathgroup " <fizzymath at>
  • Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 04:10:57 -0400 (EDT)
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But that was exactly my point...I tried so hard with our Community College 
and University to get Mathematica into the curriculum....or, as I said, to 
give some lectures and examples on the use of Mathematica....and ALL of 
them,  Engineering, Math and Physics Depts said  'Thanks but No Thanks', as 
if they have something against Mathematica....It seemed that the idea that 
students would not use pencil and paper in as laborious a manner as possible 
really bothered them....Not once did they think perhaps this might lead to a 
real enjoyment of technical subjects and perhaps to much better 
understanding of their course work......even when I was working I was 
affectionately known as 'The Mathematica Nut'...although, I'm reminded of 
something that Nietzsche said....

"Overzealousness on the part of one person can lead the others to 

jerry blimbaum

-----Original Message----- 
From: djmpark
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:28 AM
To: 'mathgroup ' ; mathgroup at
Subject: [mg130889] Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!

It will be done by example. Several people will work together, exchanging 
Mathematica notebooks or working on a common notebook. The notebooks will be 
what I call "literate"; they will look something like a technical paper or 
report, but they will take advantage of all the active and dynamic features 
of Mathematica, and contain generated knowledge in the form of active and 
immediately accessible routines and definitions developed in the course of 
the effort.

The notebooks will be of higher integrity than paper and pencil work, or 
using Mathematica as a programmed calculator and copying out because of all 
the self-proofing and additional checks that can be performed. (Of course, 
one can still make errors but they should be rarer and not the common 

That all this can be done in a single application is a tremendous advantage.

Someday other people will see what they are doing and the advantages are so 
great they will want to do the same thing. The task is getting more people 
to write and use good examples.

David Park
djmpark at

From: mathgroup [mailto:fizzymath at]

I want to comment on my experience , limited of course, with  students of 
Engineering, Engineers and Professors of background is 

First,  I get the impression that , in the main, Symbolic Computation, etc.
is not something they are really interested in......After I retired, I took 
several courses in Electromagnetics, one Graduate and the other 
Undergraduate......No one suggested the use of or taught the potential 
applications of Mathematica....Even in the Graduate course, I was the only 
student using Symbolic software fact, the students did everything 
by hand and whenever something required software, such as Antenna patterns, 
out came M-------b with some code , etc....and that was the end of it....So, 
the students knew no better....and the Professors didn�t care or werent 
interested themselves in the benefits of learning and solving problems 
Symbolically....I asked one Professor if I could give a class lecture on the
use of Mathematica for Electromagnetics...He agreed but than said   'I can
only give you about ten minutes'....I respectfully declined the offer....

So, how does WRI expand its market?....IMO, there have to be dedicated 
Teachers on how to use Mathematica in what I'll call the Research Mode not 
just define given functions from the text and plot it.......from what I have 
seen of the attitude of Instructors and Professors I'm anything but 
Optimistic....I went to our local Colleges and suggested a sequence of 
courses in Mathematica  ending with Animation and Simulation....That got me 
nowhere especially with the Math, in part, I see people who are 
stuck in pencil and paper and refuse to get out of it....

Again, of course, this is my limited experience...Perhaps others have had 
different and better ones...

Jerry Blimbaum

-----Original Message-----
From: paulmchale7 at
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2013 4:50 AM
To: mathgroup at
Subject: [mg130889] Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!

I have (maybe) a minority perspective on Mathematica being an engineer.  I 
used it long ago at university at version 1.  The next time I would use it 
would be a wolfram approved ebay purchase of version 4.  I have used it ever 
since, but am still rookie in some ways.

I believe WRI is attempting to broaden the user base rather than deepen the 
product.  They are doing this by adding (from our perspective) non-value add 
features to lure people in.  The argument is the learning curve is less 
which should lead to greater sales.  This is not how it works at any place I 
have been.

The only engineering sales force that matters is engineers.  If they can't 
argue for the product, it will not happen.  Engineers can't argue for 
something they are unable use until after purchase and additional training.
If you want engineers to demonstrate something or argue for it, you have to 
do more than offer wizards and connections to WolframAlpha which only apply 
after the sale.  Engineers need to show understanding and capability.
Managers have to show accounting they are saving money by buying 
Mathematica.  Improvements in quality of OUR products or ability to address 
greater problems is not quantifiable to the brigade of MBAs who run modern 
businesses.  There has to be quantifiable savings.  This has to be 
demonstrated by engineering staff before purchase and framed in terms of 
reduced need for time (salary expense).

I think this can only be achieved by making the online education material 
targeted to a specific audience.  This material must solve real problems in 
a way that conveys the underlying capability.

I have been told by WRI that most users will only use 5% (at most) of 
Mathematicas total ability.  LoL, if only everyone would use the same 5%.

If you want us to be able to sell it, you have to provide training for free 
so we can get started solving engineering problems prior to purchase.
Combine this with a 60 day trial and you could save a lot of WRI development 
dollars on bells and whistles that won't increase sales. Help us help you!
Stop trying to treat sales tools as a profit center!

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