Date: May 22, 2013 2:18 AM Author: mathgroup Subject: Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen! I want to comment on my experience , limited of course, with students of

Engineering, Engineers and Professors of Engineering.....my background is

Physics...

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 ......in 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 didnât 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 Depts...so, 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@gmail.com

Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2013 4:50 AM

Subject: 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!