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Best way to learn Mathcad?

Best way to learn Mathcad?

Best way to learn Mathcad?

(OP)
I am contemplating upgrading from Mathcad 8 Professional to Mathcad 12.  Currently I am a novice user - e.g. I can't use it to solve for unknowns.  I read the manual and online tutorials and it doesn't help.  What would be the best way to learn how to use Mathcad 12 effectively?  Are there any training classes available that someone recommends?  Thank you for your help.

Regards,

Cory

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RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

Do you mean Given and solve blocks? Find and Minerr?

I must confess that in practice they are very finicky, but so far as I can remember the tutorial and help had enough detail to explain what was going on, after a bit of thought.

I don't know about training courses, I've been using Mathcad since v1 !



Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

(OP)
Greg,

Finicky certainly is a good descriptor.  Thanks.

Regards,

Cory

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

Many of the algorithms are modifications of Newton's method.  Thus, pathological functions can cause problems, as can poor initial guesses as well as the more mundane worksheet errors.  Additionally, the way the equation is set up can also influence the outcome, particularly if the quantities involved span a large range.  I've got a laser equation that refuses to be solved with the R^2 in the denominator, but works perfectly fine in the numerator on the other side of the equality constraint.

If you post your file on the Mathcad collaboratory, someone there will be able to help you.  They tend to be very forgiving of newbies, so don't hestitate to try it.

TTFN

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

I have found the manual to be prety good.  I've learned all I know about Mathcad by trial and error (lots of the latter!) but it certainly requires a good understanding of the functions you are trying to use.  One thing I have learned is that if you don't have at least a vague understanding of what the algorithm is going to do, and what the (mathematical) limitations are, you are doomed to fail.  It is best to start off slowly with known data that gives a known result, untilyou are happy you can drive the function itself.  Then you are in a position to tell if the reason it doesn't work on real data is data or function related.

Right now, I couldn't work without Mathcad!

Bung
Life is non-linear...

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

I find that learning, without proper context, results in poor retention of the material.  

You need have a specific problem and the desire together.  While it obviously results in high stress, you'll remember what you learned much more than if you simply took a class without a concrete problem to apply the knowledge against.

TTFN

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

(OP)
I find the syntax to be challenging at times (but much better than other programs like Matlab and Mathmatica).  There seems to be a disconnect between my brain and the paper user's guide and the Help function within the software.  I think I need another user/teacher to view the material at the same time as me, which points towards a classroom environment.  The search continues...

Regards,

Cory

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RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

I am fortunate in that most of my career I have been able to take the time out to learn packages properly. The way I learnt 123, MathCad, Excel and Scilab (free Matlab clone) was to use each one almost exclusively for a while. So, nowadays I can usually look at a problem and pick the right package to use.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Best way to learn Mathcad?

(OP)
IRstuff,

Thank you for the links.  I had not visited them before and they look educational.

Regards,

Cory

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