On Jan 26, 2013, at 1:38 AM, Murray Eisenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Jan 25, 2013, at 1:34 AM, Richard Fateman <email@example.com> 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 ill-founded 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 be-all and end-all 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 colleagues---I'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.