Re: [SI-LIST] : Mathmatical Software

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From: Kim Helliwell (khelliwe@acuson.com)
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 10:44:52 PDT


Rich Peyton wrote:
>
> Hello All,
>
> Does anyone have any recommendations on " Mathematical Software " for
> Electrical Engineering and SI.
> MathCAD, Mathematica etc... Which one would be best for calculations,
> reports, graphs? I was leaning towards MathCAD because of it's wide
> acceptance? Any recommendations?
>
> Thanks
> Rich
>
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Hmmmm, great topic!

I've always liked Mathematica; it's the grandaddy of all of these
packages, and I think it probably is ahead of the other in terms of
power.

Lately, though, I've been learning Maple, and it's probably pretty
close to Mathematica in terms of the way it works and in terms of
power. I don't know enough about the programming language aspects
of Maple to make a direct comparison; what I like about Mathematica
is the non-procedural methods it provides for defining functions; it's
not clear to me (so far) that Maple does this (does anyone else know
for sure?).

Mathcad is also a reasonable choice. Some of our analog designers use
and like it, and at least one of them uses it for *ALL* his design
work rather than using a circuit simulator! So it presumably has
the power to do about all you would want to do in terms of design.
I believe the math engine in Mathcad is Maple (it was a few years
ago when I had a copy on my now-defunct Mac)

Given a choice, I'd choose Mathematica. But I think any of them would
be fine for design work, and I think they are all in about the same
ballpark pricewise. They all run on nearly any platform.

By the way, we also have Matlab, which is not much of a symbolic math
engine, but is excellent for handling large arrays of data. I've used
it to simulate bandwidth limiting of simulated waveforms in PCB traces,
and it works very nicely for this sort of thing. Anyone doing DSP
would have to have Matlab in addition to any other math package, in my
opinion.

-- 
Kim Helliwell
Senior CAE Engineer
Acuson Corporation
Phone: 650 694 5030  FAX: 650 943 7260

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