Date: May 23, 2013 3:54 AM
Author: David Park
Subject: 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
That all this can be done in a single application is a tremendous
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.
From: mathgroup [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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 didnC3=A2=E2=82=AC=E2=84=A2t 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...
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!