**From:** Muranyi, Arpad (*arpad.muranyi@intel.com*)

**Date:** Wed Apr 04 2001 - 12:52:56 PDT

**Next message:**Daniel, Erik S.: "RE: [SI-LIST] : Mathmatical Software"**Previous message:**cadpro2k@dacafe.com: "RE: [SI-LIST] : RE: 2.5 GHz in FR4"**Maybe in reply to:**Adam.Tambone@fairchildsemi.com: "[SI-LIST] : Mathmatical Software"**Next in thread:**Daniel, Erik S.: "RE: [SI-LIST] : Mathmatical Software"

I can't give advice, as to the original question, but I have

another related question. I like Mathcad's GUI concept, but

I am having an extremely difficult time using it. For one,

some of the editing keystrokes are very contrary to what I

would naturally try to do, but more importantly, the software

keeps crashing on me (on WIN 2000 at least). Try to inverse

Laplace transform a simple transfer function (for example an

LRC circuit). You will get an equation about a mile long.

Now try simplifying it by using search and replace, or highlight

cut and paste, etc. Chances are that you will crash immediately.

Does anyone know what the best solution is?

(Sorry if this is not directly an SI subject, but I was using the

tool in SI work, so I feel this question is still appropriate).

Arpad

================================================================

-----Original Message-----

From: Ray Anderson [mailto:Raymond.Anderson@Sun.COM]

Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2001 11:18 AM

To: si-list@silab.eng.sun.com

Subject: Re: [SI-LIST] : Mathmatical Software

My personal favorite is Matlab. If you can imagine doing something

mathematical, Matlab can probably do it. Currently we use it for

post-processing lots of measured lab data to create graphical

representations. One down-side is that mathworks requires you

to purchase extra add-on 'toolboxes' for various disciplines.

(like signal processing, symbolic math, dsp etc., etc. )

They have multitudes of add-on toolboxes available. One comment,

the symbolic math toolkit incorporates a large subset of Maple.

There is an open-source program called Octave ( http://www.octave.org)

which has very matlab-like syntax. It doesn't have all the bells and

whistles, chrome and glitz that Matlab does, however if your task

is within it's capabilities it is a great program (and it is free).

In some respects it is even better than Matlab for some applications.

It runs on Unix, Linux, and Windoze and is available either as binaries

or source code. I've used Octave to provide number crunching ability

to some on-line web-based SI tools I've developed for in-house use.

Mathcad is probably the most intuitive to use and excels in it's ability

to work with equations in a natural fashion. I've always felt the graphics

left a little to be desired, but they are adequate. Only available on

Windoze platforms (and maybe Macs) as far as I know. Price is moderate

(a few hundred compared to Matlab which clocks in in the thousands).

Mathematica is a real power house, but even though I've got it on my

machine I don't think I've used it in years so I'll defer to others

for comments. I think I found it kind of non-intuitive in its use,

but that just may be me. This one is pricey too.

-Ray

*>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
*

*>
*

*>
*

*>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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