Monday, April 17, 2017

Math Software

Mathematics - The mother of all sciences:
            Mathematics is that branch of science that uses numbers and symbols arranged using a systematic set of rules. The study of mathematics is based on reasons. It is an essential subject of study in the modern age. It plays an important role in forming the basis of understanding all other sciences. Mathematical studies can be divided into two major categories. Pure and applied mathematics. Pure mathematics is generally related to establishing mathematical proofs and not aimed at solving real-world problems as essential. Applied mathematics, on the other hand, is applied to other branches of science such as chemistry, physics, computers, engineering, etc. It relies on a problem-solving approach and aims at finding solutions to practical problems.

Hardware to software - Paradigm Shift:
            Centuries before the introduction of Indian and Arabic numeral system, calculations were performed on a counting frame commonly known as Abacus which was invented by the Chinese in 500 B.C. Progressive efforts by intellectuals did make improvements in calculation methodologies, but the mechanical devices served as a bottle neck in increasing the calculation rate drastically. In the decade of 1940s, the founders of modern computers, Babbage and Leibnitz provided a platform to automate certain repetitive processes by introducing punch cards and magnetic tapes. That was the introduction of a raw form of software. Developments in the computer industry, specifically on the hardware side, made it possible for the machine to perform mathematical calculations at rates millions of times faster than their predecessors. This is where scientists teamed up with computer engineers and started developing extensive software pieces that could help mathematicians solve their problems at a very high-speed and greater accuracy. Then the introduction of user-interface and graphical representation of data improved the overall quality of mathematical analysis work. Many companies jumped into the business and developed software specific to mathematics. Mathematical software is a software used to model, analyze or calculate numeric, symbolic or geometric data. It is a kind of application software which is used to solve mathematical problems. Presently, Wolfram Mathematical, MATLAB and Microsoft Mathematics are most commonly used math software. These software are capable of solving simple algebraic problems as well as a complex system of multi-variable differential equations. They are being used by students, researchers and professionals from various fields such as engineering, space sciences, astronomy, fluid dynamics, probabilistic risk analysis, business forecasts, and cryptography and even in performing sports analyses.

Software available in the market has many features in common, but each one of them has a certain area of specialty. Some excel at graphical user interface and representations, while others may be good at their computation power. Some might compromise somewhat on accuracy whilst generating the results quickly, while others might take a longer span but provide results accurate to a significant number of decimal places along with a great amount of detailed analysis. Hence, the selection of software is done by the user keeping in view the priorities he considers for a given task.

Software handshaking:

Modern math software are able to interface with almost all other commonly used software. So let it be report writing, importing/exporting data or printing a graph for a school kid's homework, this software serve a handy tool for everybody.

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