New Math

Major updates from Maplesoft, Wolfram, Design Science, and Tera Analysis present engineers with a calculatory cornucopia

3 min read

The venerable math programs Maple and Mathematica long ago outgrew pure math to include numerical and symbolic math, graphics, document preparation, and more. Maplesoft and Wolfram have each recently released a major update—Maple 12 and Mathematica 7—and Maple has a new simulation package as well. The company is increasingly pitching to engineers—an approach that has long been successful for another big math program, MathWorks’ Matlab.

For example, Maple’s new Dynamical Systems package helps users study the behavior of discrete and continuous time systems, central to many signal-processing and control applications. Maple can now communicate with the two leading computer-aided design packages, Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks, allowing an engineer to optimize a design in Maple and then send data back to the CAD program.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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