Every engineer has access to Excel. It’s so easy to open up a worksheet and start putting in some values. A quick calculation here, add a multiplier there, change this value because you have new information, and maybe redo the calculation with this number to see what the results would look like. The numbers look good, so you proceed with building a prototype. A team member modifies the spreadsheet, which introduces an untraceable error, and sometime down the line, you discover that months of design work have been based on erroneous calculations.
While Excel is good for project budgets for example, it simply cannot handle the scope of mathematical computation required for advanced engineering projects. Engineering teams need robust and powerful interactive mathematics systems – tools like Maple, which have an inherent knowledge of multiple mathematical disciplines and are dedicated to solving mathematical problems. With the right tools, not only can you arrive at the solution, but you can capture your thought process, minimize errors that lead to delays, control rising costs, and avoid unexpected outcomes.
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