Updated March 22, 2023
Difference Between Mathematica and Matlab
In this article, Mathematica vs Matlab, Mathematica can be used for any programming system and hence we can call Mathematica as universal. We can call Mathematica as a natural language. The study of Mathematica begun in 6th Century BC. Greeks coined the term Mathematica which has the meaning ‘subject of instruction’. Archimedes is considered basically as the father of pure mathematics. Mathematica came into existence around 1988. Matlab is a computer programming language developed by MathWorks and designed by Cleve Moler in 1983. It is written in C, C++, and Java. Matlab is the abbreviation for matrix laboratory. Matlab is easy to learn with less cost.
Head to Head Comparison between Mathematica and Matlab (Infographics)
Below are the top 39 comparisons between Mathematica vs Matlab:
Key differences between Mathematica and Matlab
Let us discuss some key differences between Mathematica vs Matlab in the following points:
- When we compare Mathematica and Matlab, Mathematica is more powerful.
- Mathematica is good at handling numerical work and it is a perfect programming system whereas Matlab is not a perfect programming system.
- Symbolic manipulation is better and easy in Mathematica than in Matlab.
- Matlab is more data-oriented than Mathematica.
- In order to run NMR data, Mathematica uses packages while Matlab uses scripts.
- The learning curve is steeper in Mathematica than in Matlab.
- Matlab is mostly used as a procedural language while mathematics is used as procedural, functional, modular and object-oriented.
- The user interface of Mathematica is simpler and easier to build when compared with Matlab.
- Manipulate and Dynamic commands are used in Mathematica whereas Matlab does not have those commands.
- External editors are not available in Mathematica whereas Matlab has external editors such as Emacs.
- Mathematica is good for handling calculus and differential equations whereas Matlab is good in design functions.
- Mathematica is good for being a scientific calculator whereas using Matlab we can’t build a scientific calculator.
- Symbolic calculations in Matlab take more time than Mathematica.
- If we use = symbol in Mathematica notebook, it will print the result and the equation whereas Matlab does not have any option like this.
- Matlab is more popular and is considered as one of the modern programming languages while Mathematica is not considered modern at all.
Comparison Table of Mathematica vs Matlab
The table below summarizes the comparisons between Mathematica vs Matlab:
|Development is fast.||Development is not fast.|
|The program can be written in a simple manner using Mathematica.||Coding in Matlab is not going to be easy and simple.|
|Code compilation is slow.||Code compiles faster in Matlab.|
|Mathematica provides a notebook interface that literally looks like a notebook.||Matlab does not provide a notebook interface.|
|The GUI of Mathematica is not that good.||The GUI of Matlab is world-class.|
|Mathematica has a central database along with Alpha to perform complex queries.||Matlab performs complex queries by itself.|
|Mathematica is developed to write mathematical functions in simple and convenient syntax.||Matlab is designed to do parallel computation to do operations in vectored form.|
|Mathematica uses a computer algebra system.||Matlab uses two-dimensional array systems.|
|Mathematica packages are built centrally and are not available to use freely.||Many Matlab packages are available free to use.|
|Mathematica is not that great for simulations.||It is easy to work with Matlab for simulations.|
|Mathematica is not free to use though the cost is reasonable.||Matlab is free of cost.|
|We cannot share the code and the code is complex in Mathematica.||In Matlab, we are able to share the code and are more readable.|
|Matrix problems can be solved easily with Mathematica.||Matrix problems are made complex if it is solved in Matlab.|
|Mathematica has infinite precision.||Matlab does not have infinite precision as Mathematica.|
|Mathematica is mostly used in academics.||Matlab is mostly used in industries.|
|The use of Mathematica is not going to end any sooner due to lazy expressions and support of different languages.||Matlab programming language is not attracting crowds due to python and others.|
|Mathematica is good in the mechanical engineering field.||Matlab is good in control systems and simulations.|
|Mathematica’s documentation is not as great as Matlab’s.||Matlab is documented very well.|
|Design tools are not combined with Mathematica.||Design tools like CAD/EDA are combined with Matlab.|
|Data science, machine learning analysis can be done.||Data science cannot be done using Matlab.|
|Web applications can be written using Mathematica.||Web applications cannot be written using Matlab.|
|Debugging is not done in Mathematica.||The code does debugging in Matlab.|
|Code visualization cannot be done in mathematica.||Code visualization can be done in Matlab.|
|Hardware options are really good.||Hardware options are very limited.|
|User support is not good in Mathematica.||User support is really good in Matlab.|
|Mathematica is not easy to master but once mastered, you can solve any complex problems within seconds.||Matlab is easy to master due to the documentation and user support.|
|Mathematica’s scope is more.||Matlab can be used only for a few applications.|
|Mathematica is not good at prototyping.||Matlab is good at prototyping programs or algorithms.|
|Mathematica is not used in big data analytics.||Matlab is used in AI and big data.|
|Data for setup is not readily available.||Matlab setup is easy.|
|No alternatives are available for Mathematica.||Many alternatives are available for Matlab.|
|We cannot call any languages or programs through Mathematica.||We can use other programs and languages through Matlab.|
|Mathematica is aimed for experienced users and scientists.||Matlab can be used by students, industrial workers, designers and so on.|
|Mathematica is written in C/C++ and Java.||Along with these languages. Matlab is written by itself.|
|Mathematica does not help in any way related to programming language.||With Matlab, the basics of programming can be learned.|
|Mathematica does not have an inline result feature.||Matlab has an inline result feature.|
|Mathematica has if statements and functions.||Matlab does not have if statements and functions.|
|Mathematica is not good for random matrix generation.||Matlab is good for random matrix generation.|
|Mathematica can be mostly used in almost all fields.||Matlab cannot be used in every STEM field.|
The graphics in both Mathematica and Matlab is really good but one has to learn the plots well. Mathematica can perform geometric operations. Both are available for Windows, Mac, Raspbian, and Linux and looks like a native application. The command-line interface is full-featured. User satisfaction is more for Matlab.
This is a guide to the top difference between Mathematica vs Matlab. Here we also discuss the key differences with infographics, and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –