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RE: MathCAD

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I started using MathCAD off and on about a year ago. Most of the time I use
Excel. The are both fine programs, but sometimes it's handier to use one
rather than the other. The real advantages of MathCAD are:

1. Much more sophisticated math options, if you happen to need them. You can
do calculus, more easily manipulate matrices, etc. I can't imagine a math
problem you couldn't set up in MathCAD.

2. MathCAD is easier to check, because the formulas and variables are always
visible. You end up with a clear, good looking set of calcs that are easy
for others to understand. It is also somewhat self checking by alerting you
to inconsistencies in formulas, undefined variables, etc., as you go along.

3. You can convert your calculations between English and SI units at the
touch of a button as long as numerical coefficients in your formulas are
consistent with both systems.

4. On the downside, I think MathCAD calculations tend to get pretty bulky.
You probably spend four pieces of paper in MathCAD for every one in Excel
due to the printing of the formulas. I think it takes longer to enter the
calculations as well, although you always know what you are doing and are
less likely to make a dumb mistake like using a bad cell reference, which
can easily happen in Excel.

Summing up, in my experience, Excel wins if you want something concise where
it is acceptable for formulas to be in the background. It's especially nice
if you are doing trial solutions and want to compare solutions side by side.
MathCAD is much more powerful from a pure math point of view, and produces
what looks like a typed version of hand calculations and is nice for
submittals that are going to be reviewed in detail by others. If the end
user just needs to see the answers, use Excel. If the end user needs to see
under the hood, use MathCAD.

-----Original Message-----
From: G Manandhar [mailto:grm(--nospam--at)engineer.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 2:07 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: MathCAD


Nels:

I noticed that you are hooked on Mathcad.  I have been using excel to do my
design and have not quite moved on to Mathcad though I have thought about
it.  I would appreciate if you could share your experience in moving from
excel to mathcad.

I have developed quite a collection of design programs in excel and am kinda
hesitant to move on to Mathcad.  I am not sure if Mathcad can read excel
files - that that would certainly help.

Gautam Manandhar
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nels Roselund, SE" <njineer(--nospam--at)att.net>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 10:40:04 -0700
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: MathType -- Is any one using it?


> Have you tried, or are you using MathType?  How does it compare with
Mathcad
> or Tedds?
> 
> It's a math software that works in word processor program, MSWord or
> MacIntosh.  It looks good.
> 
> It's available from www.nasatech.com/software/mathtype for $129.  I'm
hooked
> on Mathcad, but the MathType demonstration makes it look worth trying in
> lieu with keeping up with the Mathcad periodic upgrades.
> 
> Nels Roselund
> Structural Engineer
> South San Gabriel, CA
> njineer(--nospam--at)att.net
> 
> 
> 

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