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Bradley Carman, a Mathcad customer, presented a session on how to use Mathcad as a data processor, and use a third-party tool for the data collection and management.  Below is a summary of the presentation.  You can download the presentation from SlideShare here.

 

  • Mathcad is an ideal tool for data analysis, but not for storage and management
  • Bradley searched for a way, didn’t find it – so, he created a way!
  • Initially, he started with an Excel add-in, and it evolved into a full application called SciData

 

  • One way to do this kind of data manipulation is to hard code the data… but that’s not ideal
  • But this is a tedious process – slow.  If values are spread across Mathcad files, the oppty for human error increases
  • Ideally, one needs to separate the data from the analysis
  • Use a separate file for data collection, and a (single) worksheet for the analysis … focus on batch processing
  • Each row is a bucket of information… it can hold arrays, strings, single values, …
  • Data files use the SDS standard (Scientific Dataset Library from Microsoft Research)

  • Throughout the presentation, Bradley uses an applied example of drag coefficients on a parachute

 

  • Step 1: importing the data
    • Data files use the SDS standard
  • Step 2: Categorize the Data set

mathcad_image_01.png

  • Step 3: Add Characteristic Values to the Data Set
  • Step 4 Link to Mathcad Analysis file
  • Step 5: Execute the link
  • Step 6: Setup inputs and outputs

mathcad_image_02.png

    • Leverages the WRITEPRN function; be sure to use the # symbol (that’s the tag to SciData)
  • Step 7: Batch processing
  • Step 8: Compile the results

mathcad_image_03.png

 

  • Bradley demonstrated this with a live demo

 

Audience Q+A

  • Q: Why Mathcad? Why not the native program in which this is developed?
  • A: “Because Mathcad is sexy!  The UI is made for easy manipulation.”

 

  • Q: Have you hit an upper limit with your data sets?
  • A: Well, this is why I moved out of Excel.  So, short answer – no.

 

  • Q: Have you done anything with photo data?
  • A: Yes, I have an example at the end of my presentation.

 

All in all, this is a great third-party enhancement to Mathcad.  This showcases the computational power of Mathcad while using another tool to handle the data collection.  This also lets another use (perhaps a co-worker who doesn’t have a Mathcad license) to participate in the process by getting data ready for processing.

 

Bradley’s SciData application can be download from sourceforge herehttps://sourceforge.net/projects/scidata/.  And you can get a copy of Bradley’s presentation on SlideShare here.

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