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Mmmm, i'm starting the university this year, although i know how to do integrals and derivatives, it's a real hassle when i make a mistake in the integral or derivative (depending on the problem) and thus screw up the entire process ending up with a few hours wasted, a headache and bad humor. What is a good math app that can do derivatives and graph the functions (and derivatives) and output the resulting function of a derivative or integral? I would like to know this asap, because it'd help me alot. Thanks.

Maple is by far the best math program I have come across. It can do derivatives, integrals, linear algabra, statistics, and... well pretty much everything. It is fairly easy to use and you can get it for both windows and linux.

Originally posted by shifty_eyes Maple is by far the best math program I have come across. It can do derivatives, integrals, linear algabra, statistics, and... well pretty much everything. It is fairly easy to use and you can get it for both windows and linux.

you have a link? Getting alot of trash in google, will work on it though.

Originally posted by shifty_eyes Maple is by far the best math program I have come across. It can do derivatives, integrals, linear algabra, statistics, and... well pretty much everything. It is fairly easy to use and you can get it for both windows and linux.

Quoted for Truth. Maple is about as good as they get. If you can't get a copy through your university, though, it's quite pricey ($900 for Academic, $2,000 for commercial)
Another option is Mathematica. You have to specify that you want the Linux version, but it only runs $200 for the academic edition.
My advice would be to talk to your university and see if they have a deal with any particular provider before you buy yourself a copy of anything. Anyway, let us know what you find out, if you have any more questions, we'll be happy to help.

Re: good math software (derivatives, integrals...)

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Originally posted by bobbens Mmmm, i'm starting the university this year, although i know how to do integrals and derivatives, it's a real hassle when i make a mistake in the integral or derivative (depending on the problem) and thus screw up the entire process ending up with a few hours wasted, a headache and bad humor. What is a good math app that can do derivatives and graph the functions (and derivatives) and output the resulting function of a derivative or integral? I would like to know this asap, because it'd help me alot. Thanks.

The other posters are right about computer algebra programs, but they won't help you much in undergraduate collage. It takes a lot of training to use these programs properly (not to mention a good background in math!!). When they are needed (and useful) for your classes, your Profs will set the class up with a lab.

You're better off learning to use some of the plotting tools available for Unix (there are dozens of good ones). Look into Octave, R, Gnuplot, etc.

Re: Re: good math software (derivatives, integrals...)

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Originally posted by david_finlayson The other posters are right about computer algebra programs, but they won't help you much in undergraduate collage. It takes a lot of training to use these programs properly (not to mention a good background in math!!). When they are needed (and useful) for your classes, your Profs will set the class up with a lab.

You're better off learning to use some of the plotting tools available for Unix (there are dozens of good ones). Look into Octave, R, Gnuplot, etc.

I agree, i was looking at mathomatica, which is cute and basically does only derivatives, which is helpful. I dont think i need a full out big paying version of a math lab, with just a little gnu app i should be fine. I mean later on when i actually need something bigger and better i guess my university will give me advice, but i'm in the "selectiva phase" where they just make sure 50% of the people flunk out the first year and they dont really give a shit about me.

Re: Re: Re: good math software (derivatives, integrals...)

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Originally posted by bobbens I agree, i was looking at mathomatica, which is cute and basically does only derivatives, which is helpful. I dont think i need a full out big paying version of a math lab, with just a little gnu app i should be fine. I mean later on when i actually need something bigger and better i guess my university will give me advice, but i'm in the "selectiva phase" where they just make sure 50% of the people flunk out the first year and they dont really give a shit about me.

In the 1960s NASA spent over a million dollars developing a ball point pen that would work in space. The Russians? They used pencils.

The sad truth is there is nothing better than pencil and paper for learning math. It slows the process down to human speeds and forces you to pay attention to each step. In time (and it takes time and practice) you get pretty good at it.

I'm a PhD student in Oceanography and use high-end computers for lots of numerical problems. But when I want to learn new math, I always write it down on paper. You can satisfy your geek-sense by buying an outlandish mechanical pencil of course.

Re: Re: Re: Re: good math software (derivatives, integrals...)

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Originally posted by david_finlayson The sad truth is there is nothing better than pencil and paper for learning math. It slows the process down to human speeds and forces you to pay attention to each step. In time (and it takes time and practice) you get pretty good at it.

I'm a physics course student and I do tons of integrals and derivatives. I ALLWAYS use paper, pen and brain for my calculus and ONLY when I sure I use computer for simulation.

However If you don't want to spend too much time use tables.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: good math software (derivatives, integrals...)

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Originally posted by spariggio82 I'm a physics course student and I do tons of integrals and derivatives. I ALLWAYS use paper, pen and brain for my calculus and ONLY when I sure I use computer for simulation.

However If you don't want to spend too much time use tables.

Good luck

i usually do too, but when you have a really tedious derivative and you want to get the simplified result without spending 30 mins to get it, or if it's just the first part of the exercise and you dont want to screw up the entire thing, its good to double check. Like the other day i spent an hour on an exercise only to realize i had screwed up on the first derivative. The thing is that i kept on missing the mistake. I'm probably not going to use this app all the time, but when there are pain in the ass exercises it'll be nice.

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Originally posted by david_finlayson P.S. In the hands of a mathematician, Mathematica can do a lot more than just derivatives.

i'm sure it can, but for now, spending 5 minutes on learning mathomatica (all the time i had yesterdday) i can do derivatives and im fine with that. All these CLI have really high potential (generally better then GUI), you just have to spend more time reading man pages.

Well conclusively mathomatica suits my needs, maybe if i ever really have to do graphing and more complicated stuff ill get some expensive program (probably gotten free at the university), but no need now. Thanks for the replies.

I also think that the best way to learn/understand is to use your pencil and paper (you can even do many things in your head if you really understand what is or what should be going on -- btw, I'm a graduate math student).

Stay away from calculators, math software as much as you can. But there are cases (esp. in applied math) when using software is necessary to do things in a reasonable amount of time. Here are my recommendations:

- Octave (this is a MATLAB clone)
- Maxima (Very similar to Maple, indeed it's derived from Maple's ancestor)
- Scilab (can do algebra plus many things like simulation etc)

All of these are free sofware and have Linux versions.

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To be quite honest, the best software would be that that one write's themselves if teh know what they're doing. I could write it when i finish calculus, like a wrote software to do all of my non-Calc based physics problems

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