Date: May 23, 2013 3:51 AM
Author: Richard Fateman
Subject: expanding the use of symbolic computation in engineering .. was Re:
On 5/21/2013 11:18 PM, mathgroup wrote:

> 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...

...

> Again, of course, this is my limited experience...Perhaps others have had

> different and better ones...

>

> Jerry Blimbaum

>

>

I think your experience is typical, and that the "sweet spot" for

engineering computation is not in symbolic computation nor Mathematica

in particular. Certainly educators don't view symbolic computation

as key to any particular course that is in the core curriculum. See

for example...

my own institution, University of California at Berkeley describes the

curriculum here:

http://coe.berkeley.edu/students/current-undergraduates/handouts-and-items-for-main-page/2011-12%20Announcement.pdf

no mention of Mathematica, though a numeric program is mentioned

in the TITLE of one course on computer programming.

Searching through the whole ME web site reveals that a few courses

allow that proficiency in some programming language, which could be

in Mathematica, is recommended or required. Proficiency in Mathematica

as a job skill... uh, monster.com lists 19 jobs with a keyword of

Mathematica. at least 6 of them are at Mathematica Policy Research,

unrelated to the program. Over 1000 for some others.

Usually the "killer app" for computer algebra is thought to be something

related to education or perhaps testing. There are too

few actual "mathematical researchers" to make much of a market.

So one strategy for WRI is to make Mathematica competitive in areas

that have little or nothing to do with symbolic computation. And

that is what it is doing.

Web design and service

Knowledge, uh, stuff. Data base

Graphics, animation, games,

Numerics, statistics, traditional application packages (e.g. signals,

materials, control...)

Business "analytics"

So all you people who say that SW should buckle down and do

the symbolic math right (or do the arbitrary precision

arithmetic or intervals or other fundamentals right).

yeah, you can ask for that, but don't hold your breath. WRI

is a commercial operation.

RJF