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Topic: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Replies: 81   Last Post: Jun 4, 2013 5:59 AM

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Joseph Gwinn

Posts: 112
Registered: 2/23/05
Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Posted: Jun 3, 2013 3:26 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

In article <koehbr$2s6$1@smc.vnet.net>, Mark McClure
<mcmcclur@unca.edu> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 6:27 AM, Richard Fateman <fateman@cs.berkeley.edu>
> wrote:

> > On 5/31/2013 12:16 AM, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>
> >> Naive users of Mathematica practically never use arbitrary
> >> precision arithmetic.

> >
> > Practically never, but occasionally? Like slightly pregnant?

>
> While I'd prefer to steer clear of the majority of this morass, I do
> have one data point that might be useful. In fact, I wrote the
> following on sci.math.symbolic back in 2008:

> >>>> I've been teaching undergraduate students to solve numerical
> >>>> problems in calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and
> >>>> more recently numerical analysis using Mathematica since version
> >>>> 1.2 and I don't believe I've ever seen the types of problems you
> >>>> describe arise in that setting.

>
> Well, that was five years ago and, as I've continued to teach with
> Mathematica and even developed a course *on* Mathematica, I can now
> expand on that a bit. I have now seen a novice user develope some
> serious confusion due to unexpected behavior surrounding significance
> arithmetic - once.
>
> Incidentally, the significance arithmetic was triggered, not by one of
> RJF's standard tricks, but by a simple bug. In versions 6 and 7 of
> Mathematica, entering AiryA[0.0] yielded a non-machine number with
> Precision $MachinePrecision, rather than a machine number with
> Precsion MachinePrecision. I was studying the structure of Julia sets
> of Airy functions with an undergraduate research student and, as you
> might imagine, it was, uhmm, inconvenient to iterate with
> high-precision numbers. Danny can verify the bug at least, as he
> fixed it.


I have to chime in here, with a story that well predates Mathematica:

In my first job, circa 1970, I learned Fortran, and was writing a
program to convert a tape written on a 16-bit machine to the 36-bit
format of the Univac 1108 mainframe. I had endless trouble with the
Univac Field() function, which allowed access to defined subfields of a
36-bit word, the the bit level. Field() could appear on either side of
the equals sign, and so was perfect for reformatting tape data. I
struggled for a week, then asked my boss, who laughed and said that the
Field function was known not to work. Oh.

I subsequently took a course on 1108 assembler language, and when I
returned the first program I wrote was an assembly-coded fortran
function that did the needed bit twiddling, the twiddling that Field()
couldn't do.

The point being that any large software entity will have errors, and
yet life goes on.

Joe Gwinn



Date Subject Author
5/12/13
Read Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/13/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
psycho_dad
5/13/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
psycho_dad
5/14/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Nasser Abbasi
5/15/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
szhorvat@gmail.com
5/16/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
szhorvat@gmail.com
5/16/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Dr. Peter Klamser
5/17/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Andrzej Kozlowski
5/17/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Murray Eisenberg
5/17/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Dr. Peter Klamser
5/18/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Dr. Peter Klamser
5/19/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Murray Eisenberg
5/19/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
paulmchale7@gmail.com
5/19/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
paulmchale7@gmail.com
5/23/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
szhorvat@gmail.com
5/24/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/20/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Ingolf Dahl
5/20/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Annetts
5/22/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
mathgroup
5/23/13
Read expanding the use of symbolic computation in engineering .. was Re:
Richard Fateman
5/24/13
Read Re: expanding the use of symbolic computation in engineering .. was Re:
W. Craig Carter
5/23/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/23/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
mathgroup
5/24/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Richard Fateman
5/25/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/25/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Richard Fateman
5/25/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/28/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Alexei Boulbitch
5/28/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Alexei Boulbitch
6/4/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Bill Rowe
5/24/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Park
5/27/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Noqsi
5/28/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Richard Fateman
5/31/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Bailey
6/1/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Richard Fateman
6/2/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Bailey
6/3/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Richard Fateman
6/3/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Bailey
6/4/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Andrzej Kozlowski
5/29/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
fd
5/30/13
Read Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Noqsi
5/31/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Richard Fateman
5/31/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Kevin J. McCann
5/31/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Andrzej Kozlowski
6/1/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Richard Fateman
6/1/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Richard Fateman
6/2/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Andrzej Kozlowski
6/3/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Richard Fateman
6/3/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Andrzej Kozlowski
6/1/13
Read Mathematica numerics and... Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Daniel Lichtblau
6/2/13
Read Interval vs default, was Re: Mathematica numerics and... Re: Applying
Richard Fateman
6/2/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
James Stein
6/3/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
waku
6/3/13
Read Re: Interval vs default, was Re: Mathematica numerics and... Re: Applying
Daniel Lichtblau
5/27/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Noqsi
6/2/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Bailey
5/28/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
fd
5/31/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
David Bailey
5/28/13
Read Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
fd
6/2/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Mark McClure
6/3/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Richard Fateman
6/3/13
Read Re: Applying Mathematica to practical problems
Joseph Gwinn
6/3/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic
lshifr@gmail.com
6/3/13
Read Re: Warsaw Univ. course, was Re: Work on Basic
lshifr@gmail.com

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