A good scientific software for function plotting?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MXM, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. MXM macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #1
    Hello,
    Does anyone know if there's a good function plotting software (free or commercial), i.e. given a function, plot it graphically? I know I can plot the function using Excel, but I think I have to input a set of data first. I'm hoping to input the function and see the graphical representation directly. Thanks
     
  2. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
  3. MXM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #3
    Thanks! I was trying to plot functions involving LN (log), N(CDF for standard normal distribution) etc, it seems Grapher doesn't support it, or have I missed anything? thanks
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Notation is very important in mathematics. LN(x) is not a known function of x in closed-form. However, Grapher handles ln(x) beautifully. The CDF of the normal distribution is written as:

    N(x) = (1+erf(x))/2​

    where erf(x) is the error function of x. Grapher also handles this beautifully.
     
  5. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502

    5DollaFootlong

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #5
    logger pro hands down. for professionals. works with vernier sensor technology. logger pro isn't cheap though; i'm talking at about $350 a license; however i get it via my school for free :p. if you can afford it or get a special deal, logger pro is the way to go.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #6
    Get Mathematica or MATLAB if you need something more than just Grapher.
     
  7. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Might be overkill, if you just want to plot functions, but another good mathematics software is Maple.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    The OP's problem is not software. Grapher handles everything that he asked about and handles it well. The OP does not understand the mathematics.
     
  9. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Thread title: A good scientific software

    My first sentence: Might be overkill

    How do you know? Plotting standard normal distribution isn't something average Joe does every day.
     
  10. MXM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    To the first of these two questions, it is my business to know. To the second, you are mistaken. The OP is not plotting the normal distribution. What he needs to do is to plot the CDF of the normal distribution. That is not something that the average Joe should ever do. Obviously, the OP is not an average Joe; he is a student taking a statistic course. However, he has not been paying attention in class. The CDF of the normal distribution is the error function, but he does not know that. Worse than this, he did not know how to properly write the natural logarithm function. There is simply no excuse for this. Many secondary school students and most university students are familiar with the natural logarithm function. It is a standard function on virtually every scientific calculator.
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #14
    I don't think that he is unfamiliar with it, he just didn't know how to input it into Grapher. The formatting of the natural logarithm is hardly standardized across computer algebra and numerics programs anyways; in Excel "ln(number)" gets reformatted to "LN(number)." In Mathematica it is entered as "Log[x]." In Maple, "ln(x)" or "log(x)" works, while in MATLAB you need "Y = log(X)."

    Maybe you're just having a bad day or something, MisterMe, and while I agree with you that asking how to plot the log function is a little simple minded, I don't think you've got any basis to say that the OP doesn't know anything about it.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    You assume that the OP ever even heard tell of Mathematica, Maple, or MATLAB? Yeah, right. FWIW, instead of redirecting the OP to immeasurably more sophisticated apps, I showed him to graph the functions he wanted in the application that he was trying to use. Bad day, indeed.
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #16
    Uh, in context it doesn't even matter. There's no absolute reason to expect any program to recognize ln(x) and not LN(x), an error which in turn doesn't imply ignorance of the subject at hand like you assumed.
     
  15. palane macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #17
    I don't really see the point of needling the OP over syntax. ln is natural; log is base 10. With regards to graphing software, I've been a long time user of Kaleidagraph. You get very attractive graphs. Unfortunately, development appeared to stop prior to the Intel transition. The web page is dated 2007. It runs just fine on my MBP, but it'd be hard to recommend orphaned software.

    Perhaps I'll check out Grapher. I'm not a big fan of the all-in-one programs such as MathCAD. For my work, I play around with the numbers in Excel and then shift to a graphing package.

    BB
     
  16. Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a

    Detektiv-Pinky

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #18
    Data Plotting

    Ok, just to make this thread longer:

    Any suggestions for a good data plotting app for measurement data (possibly free)?

    I just came across OmniGraphSketcher (which looks nice, but does is support box-plots with error-bars?)
    How good is Excel 2008 for such a task?
     
  17. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #19
    You should take a look at the R project.
     
  18. Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a

    Detektiv-Pinky

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #20
    I had a quick look on the website, but was deterred by the sheer size of the project and the lack of a good starting point.

    Do you have a link to 'quick' intro into 'R', or does it make sense to just download and play with it?
     
  19. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    KaleidaGraph is great. Despite implications to the contrary, it works just fine on Intel-based hardware. However, it is not free. DeltaGraph also does a beautiful job. It is a good analysis tool, but it targeted more toward display charts. However, I prefer KaleidaGraph because it is slightly more straightforward.

    The strengths of OmniGraphSketcher are probably lost on most people. Back in the days before personal computers, authors employed professional graphic artists to draw graphs for their professional papers and books. Hand-drawn graphs have an elegance that is difficult to match using charting apps like KaleidaGraph, DeltaGraph, Origin, and such like. OmniGraphSketcher brings the elegance and flexibility of hand-drawn graphs to the personal computer. Of course, OmniGraphSketcher can graph a set of data points.

    As a charting application, Excel is a very blunt instrument. I have never seen a graph created using Excel that didn't look like a graph created using Excel. By that, I mean that they look like crap. However, because so many people use Excel to produce crappy-looking graphs, crappy-looking graphs produced using Excel are acceptable in many quarters.
     
  20. ebel3003 macrumors 6502a

    ebel3003

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    "The Google"
    #22
    A lot of this is way over my head, but I've had luck with the mathematics functions of Wolfram|Alpha. Perhaps it may do what you need as well: http://www.wolframalpha.com/.
     
  21. Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a

    Detektiv-Pinky

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #23
    Thanks a lot for these suggestions.

    You know, I have done box-plots in Excel2003 on Windows. It can be done but requires preprocessing on your data and a lot of fiddling with the individual settings. The results did not look bad - however it was a pain to produce for different data sets. It seems Excel2008 has lost this functionality?!

    Today I tried R and OmniGraphSketcher. OmniGraphSketcher is really nice but needs some more work to be useful for my current plotting needs. It looks excellent for bar and line-graphs.

    However, I figured out how to plot my data in R. The basics are really simple. 2 commands: read.table() and boxplot() and I have a plot from a csv-file. Now I need to figure out how to make some decorations and export...
     
  22. arvidtp macrumors newbie

    arvidtp

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #24
    for plotting data I've gotten good results with this:

    http://plot.micw.eu/

    UI is a little weird, but once you are used to it it is just fine.
     
  23. YB24 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Dordogne-France http://y.barois.free.fr/grapher/
    #25
    Grapher manual

    All what you need is pages 53-54 of this Grapher Manual :
    "Grapher" is an Applications Utility of Mac OS X 10.4 & 10.5, it is a very interesting graph plotter software and math equation editor, but Grapher's Help is a lot too brief and reveals only a small fraction of its possibilities . A more complete manual of 68 pages in French, illustrated with screen captures and starting with tutorials, is downloadable free on the following websites :
    < http://macetprof.free.fr/MacEtProf/Grapher.html > " ManuelGrapher120808M&P.zip " & " 2D Examples.zip " & " 3D Examples.zip " ;
    < http://freeware.avosmac.com/ > letter "G" > Grapher (le manuel) ;
    < http://atlanticmac.free.fr/index.php?trucs=3&page=195 > " Le livre de Grapher " ;
    < http://atlanticmac.free.fr/index.php?trucs=3&page=197 > Some other examples.

    Attachments : a presentation of "Mode d'emploi de Grapher" and the contents of this manual (French language).

    Sincerely, YB24
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page