Author Topic: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??  (Read 13797 times)

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Offline electr_peter

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 08:30:45 pm »
I have used Matlab and Octave for math applications among other programs as well. Matlab and Octave are not 100% compatible in functions and syntax, but I tried to keep same syntax in both.
The most annoying thing about Octave is that you cannot define function inside a function (I am not sure about newest version). This means unnecessary increase in function input/output parameters.

Some guys just hate Matlab for various reasons: https://abandonmatlab.wordpress.com/
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2015, 09:39:13 pm »
Avoid Mathematica. They have shit customer service.  I purchased a license 3 years ago, installed it, it was working fine, upgraded my PC, got rid of the old one, etc.. Went to reinstall, and it wouldnt let me because the license key was used already.  Did their online help thing.  And despite it saying I'd have a response in 24 hours (finding a keygen takes 5 minutes... and I need this software to work now, not in 24 hours...  ) I never got a response, at all.  So screw them. Sorry I dont have $50k to drop on their software with garbage syntax (so many awkward shift key characters, ugh)  to get them to pay attention to me.

 

Offline rollatorwieltje

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2015, 09:47:54 pm »
Compiled Matlab programs most certainly can run with a GUI - what they can't include is the Matlab IDE

(20+ year Matlab user)

http://nl.mathworks.com/products/compiler/supported/compiler_support.html

The useful things aren't supported.
 

Offline gocemk

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2015, 10:48:43 pm »
It really depends on the field you are in. I can only speak for Control Systems Engineering and Automation, because that's the field i graduated in. During the studies i extensively used Matlab, and especially Simulink for system stability simulations. Also, it's PID toolbox comes in really handy for calculating PID parameters. The MPC toolbox allows simulation of the output when using MPC controller in your design, and so on...Also there are plug-in toolboxes you can install for e.g stability simulation on non-linear systems...And the list goes on (Nyquist diagrams, Bode plot analisys, conversions from State-Space to Transfer Function...)

Now, after my studies i use it really rarely. In fact, i used it only once to calculate PID parameters for a PID controller i was writing in C. (I already had the transfer function, so once you have that, calculation of the PID parameters is trivial with the toolbox). Most PLC's software have the magic "autotune" option when using PID function blocks in the code, so this makes the use of Matlab even more rare, at least in the field of automation.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2015, 04:53:14 pm »
Well, I think I got my math existential crisis solved out.
Thanks for your opinions guys!
I'll be using the Matlab copies installed on the uni's labs, when I specifically need Matlab. I'll be using MathCAD and Wolfram Alpha as PC and phone math packages, respectively and I bought an HP Prime calculator for classroom use.

Here are the rationales for my decisions:

*Matlab is a necessary thing on my curriculum, but I cannot afford the home edition as well as a calculator (more on that later). I am, however, still complaining for my university not providing us with .edu.do emails (they own a .edu.do domain and have had online platforms much more complex than simple POP3 email)[/li][/list]
*MathCAD is free. I haven't done anything with it, but I would predict it is sort of like Eagle or DipTrace in the math packages world. Matlab and Mathematica being sort of like Altium and Cadence[/li][/list]
*I had already bought mobile Wolfram Alpha when I started uni. It was 5 bucks, no periodic fee and it lets me see solutions step by step. Amazing value, but it doesn't integrate very well with my normal work flow (no pun intended). It paid out in less than 1 trimester[\li]
*I felt like my Casio FX-115ES is great, but it has limitations and I am already starting to be affected by them. It solves matrices and even quadratic equations and (defined) integration, but it struggles with it. In the case of the 3rd order polynomial solver, it often only gave me 2 roots, instead of 3. I know that sometimes that is because 2 of the roots are actually the same, but I need to know which two.[\li]
*Enter the HP Prime. I already took and passed all standardized test in my uni and country, that I know of, so I can get whatever calculator I want, not ridiculously crippled 20-year-old dinosaurs like the TI-84. The Prime's competitor is obviously the TI N-spire. It is extremely ugly for a start. I once tried to use it and it was more than counterintuitive. The mouse thing is ridiculous, the keyboard is not qwerty, so programming on it, if possible, would be a pain. So the keyboard is quite useless. It's only there, taking 1/4 of the calculator's surface and it's only useful for inserting variables. No trigonometric functions in sight. It looks and is bulky.
The HP is quite different. They opted for a touchscreen, which is okay. I played with the emulator and the whole thing makes more sense. There is no space wasted on the keyboard. Most, if not all of the keys, as a consequence, are bigger. The hardware seems like a fine piece of instrumentation, not only a high school toy that has to stand the abuse of irresponsible users. The keys are reportedly clicky and firm, with a metallic feeling. HP markets it to students and professionals. TI doesn't even mention professionals. I plan to finish college, you know...
To top this off, the HP is cheaper. Its community consists of professionals and (slightly dissapointed) HP calculator aficionados. TI seems to be teachers and students. "But Ivan, aren't you a student?" I hear you ask... yes, and I get educated by teachers, but I get the practical advise from professionals, because that's what I am going to be.


So HP prime it is  :-+
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 04:56:58 pm by ivan747 »
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2015, 03:00:28 am »
Just an update!

 ;D They finally gave us a .edu email address  ;D

And I'm using MATLAB for something I'd find it useful. It's a course called "Signals and Systems", and it makes sense to use an environment like MATLAB for this sort of thing, since it's closer to maths than it is to circuits. I've now become slightly familiarized with it, but I'm sure there's a whole lot more to it.

I still believe its use is definitely NOT circuits. Not without a CAS built in (yes, I know there's an option for it, no I can't pay for it). Still, there's room for improvement, like automatic matrix creation from circuit equations, direct schematic input... Oh wait, that's what LTspice is for.  :palm:

I'll stick to Octave for personal use, if I ever need it.
 :-+
 

Offline kalhana

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2015, 11:59:12 pm »
MATLAB is great for many things, I use a lot of SimPowerSystems Toolbox in Simulink to simulate circuits (mainly power electronics) and you can integrate the control system (either in MATLAB code or as graphical blocks) into it which makes it great.

We were thought not to use the PID tuner wizard (it's frowned upon over here) so we derive the closed/open loop transfer functions and use either Bode/root locus methods to design the controller. For transfer function manipulations, I use MATLAB coding.

Recently started using Mathematica, and it's really awesome and really elegant. Been using it for symbolic maths. I have heard that it's much better than MATLAB's symbolic toolbox. Things that used to take pages and pages to manually derive, now take much less effort (and if it's a critical thing, you can always do manually and double check with Mathematica).

Also, I like Mathematica's "manipulation" capability where you can manipulate variables with sliders and see in real time how your equation terms change and how waveform plots change. Beyond awesome!
 

Offline MarkF

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2015, 01:21:20 am »
Matlab is heavily used in industry for data processing and post analysis.  A very nice thing to have on your resume.
It's also used in complex digital signal processing and analysis.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 01:26:13 am by MarkF »
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2015, 07:48:11 am »
Matlab is heavily used in industry for data processing and post analysis.  A very nice thing to have on your resume.
It's also used in complex digital signal processing and analysis.

Bingo.

Lots of people complain about it, but the fact is that I can write incredibly powerful programs with just a few lines of code, and in the US it's trusted throughout the industry and military for spitting out the correct answers.  It's simple enough that even a casual user can follow what's going on and spot bugs, or verify correctness.

For some reason, it's always being compared with programs like Mathematica and Maple.  To me that's like asking, "Should I use and LM833 opamp or a Vishay capacitor?" They're so completely different from one another that it doesn't even make sense to compare them.  I think people just mistakenly read "Matlab" as some misspelling of "MathLab".  It's "MATRIX Lab".

You can get circuit analysis stuff for Matlab, but it's more appropriate for industrial applications...like modelling power lines from the dam to some distribution station.  IMHO, it's a very odd, and possibly bad, choice for general circuit design.  Any one of the popular SPICE variants is a far better choice.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2015, 04:55:41 am »
I have had a copy of Mathcad since the late 80s, early 90s, updating whenever their price got low enough.  It does symbolic math fine, and is set up to do matrices, but doesn't have the power for data entry/collection that Matlab does.  I have never found symbolic math too useful.  Anything big enough that you can't do it manually causes the programs to choke or expand into uselessly large expressions.  If you are going to have a forty line equation you might as well go directly to a numerical solution.

I would recommend anyone in school to get thoroughly familiar with Matlab.  It has evolved into a widely used standard and the knowledge will serve you well.

I would also recommend investigating either the Microsoft Office or Open Office spreadsheet tools for simulation of smaller systems (say a few dozen variables/states and a few thousand time steps) and working with modest size data sets (say 10k to 20k data points).  They are also effectively limited to 2D models, anything 3D is very clumsy and limited.   They are adequate tools (not nearly as nice or versatile as Matlab), and they are widely accessible.  While the odds are very good that you will run into people who don't have access to Matlab, there is almost no one who can't latch on to one of the spreadsheet programs and utilize your work or look at your data.
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Re: Matlab? Mathematica? Ma... what do I need!??
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2015, 10:40:56 am »
I have had a copy of Mathcad since the late 80s, early 90s, updating whenever their price got low enough.  It does symbolic math fine, and is set up to do matrices, but doesn't have the power for data entry/collection that Matlab does.  I have never found symbolic math too useful.  Anything big enough that you can't do it manually causes the programs to choke or expand into uselessly large expressions.  If you are going to have a forty line equation you might as well go directly to a numerical solution.

I would recommend anyone in school to get thoroughly familiar with Matlab.  It has evolved into a widely used standard and the knowledge will serve you well.

I would also recommend investigating either the Microsoft Office or Open Office spreadsheet tools for simulation of smaller systems (say a few dozen variables/states and a few thousand time steps) and working with modest size data sets (say 10k to 20k data points).  They are also effectively limited to 2D models, anything 3D is very clumsy and limited.   They are adequate tools (not nearly as nice or versatile as Matlab), and they are widely accessible.  While the odds are very good that you will run into people who don't have access to Matlab, there is almost no one who can't latch on to one of the spreadsheet programs and utilize your work or look at your data.

Absoolutely!  The engineering world runs on Excel. It's amazing what it can do. I hate working in spreadsheets, but if you're going to survive as an engineer, you'll probably have to become proficient at some point.
 


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