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MATLAB vs. Maple? - June 7th 2012, 05:31 PM

So for my Differential Equations class we have to do some stuff using a mathematical lab program. My professor recommended Mathematica (NOT required), and I have both MATLAB and Maple. I'm not sure which to use. I'm far more aware of Maple's mathematical capabilities, but I'm only experienced in MATLAB. Has anyone used either of these and could advise me?

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Re: MATLAB vs. Maple? - June 7th 2012, 08:50 PM

I've only used MATLAB. If you know MATLAB well, and know how it can work for you, use it. I use it all the time for classes.

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Re: MATLAB vs. Maple? - June 8th 2012, 03:34 AM

I've only used Mathematica, and I know first-hand why your professor recommended it for you. It requires the least specific programming knowledge out of the three softwares, and it works beautifully with differential equations, because you can input a generalized diff. eq. and manipulate coefficients with animated graphics; it's wonderful stuff. Check if your school can give you a discount for downloading it (I got it for free because of my school, so it's not outside the realm of possibility for you). Mathematica is more of a powerful tool for diff. eq. because it might lead you to algebraic solutions to equations that might not have been practical to derive by hand, but MATLAB is more useful for manipulating/generating large quantities of numerical data (which you likely won't encounter much of here; more likely in a data analysis course). Maple's interface has been considered, by many, to be more user-friendly than Mathematica (for graphical interpretations), but Mathematica is essentially unmatched in algebraic computation power and simplicity in input. If you must choose between Maple and MATLAB, for your course, I'd go with Maple.
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