
Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Posted:
Jan 26, 2013 4:58 PM


On Jan 26, 2013, at 1:38 AM, Murray Eisenberg <murray@math.umass.edu> wrote:
> On Jan 25, 2013, at 1:34 AM, Richard Fateman <fateman@cs.berkeley.edu> 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 illfounded 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 beall and endall 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 colleaguesI'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 http://www.wolfram.com/learningcenter/tutorialcollection/ is fine but sparse on examples; the book doesn't target engineers.
WCC

