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SciFinder Review: Chemistry/Biology References and More

March 6, 2014 4:31 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

This month’s review is a bit off of the usual track, e.g. statistical, mathematical and genomics software. However, it does include much pertinent information for chemists, chemical engineers and biologists. SciFinder is a search engine for chemistry and biology references for just about anything that can be accurately described in the search feature.

Unscrambler X 10.3: Useful Niche Software

January 6, 2014 1:38 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Software Review: Unscrambler statistical software is geared to two of the most useful areas of...

MapleSim 6: Advanced Systems Level Modeling

June 20, 2013 3:59 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

This new version of the modeling software based upon the Maple mathematical system, the open-...

STATISTICA 10: The Power of Statistics and Data Mining Simplified

December 7, 2011 9:07 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

In the past, I have extolled STATISTICA 10 statistical software for its ability to cover just...

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The UnscramblerX: Still a Remarkable Niche Product

November 9, 2011 9:51 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

What’s so remarkable about it? Well, for one, it was originally geared to chemical engineers, but is now used by a wide spectrum of chemists. The package is remarkable for its choice of tools, namely experimental design (DOE) and multivariate statistics. It does a good job of both, and the developers have added many new features (this is NOT your father’s version 9.2!).

Maple 15: How do they do it?!

September 29, 2011 10:31 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

For those new to this software, perhaps a little background is in order. Maple is mathematical software that is constantly being improved as to breadth of the calculation routines, optimality of the algorithms, speed of computation, and ease-of-use. The last is one of the most useful features, as the new user can quickly come up to speed by testing the menu items, going through the tutorials and reading the pertinent sections of the manuals

Mathematica 8: An Easy Way to Compute, Develop and Deploy

August 19, 2011 6:11 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

It’s always refreshing to see the latest version of an old friend and, in this case, delve into capabilities that go far beyond the simple algebra and calculus where the editor usually turns to this software (also to shed light on a biological process). Mathematica has expanded into so many areas, that it long ago ceased to be software that merely does math.

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Partek Genomics Suite 6.5: The Painful Made Easy

May 27, 2011 5:14 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

he title refers to the editor’s angst at using most genomics software for gene expression (microarray) studies. I keep asking myself why they make it so hard. For those chemists, physicists and engineers in our readership not into pharmacogenomics, I specifically refer to the data acquisition phase.

SYSTAT 13: More Statistics, Less Effort

November 3, 2010 9:23 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

SYSTAT has long been a staple of the linear models crowd and now gets more powerful with every version. The present version includes Exact tests, Monte Carlo simulations, and the ever popular (and becoming more so every day) quality analysis section

MapleSim 4: High Performance Physical Modeling and Simulation

October 19, 2010 10:37 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

This latest version of Maplesoft’s drag-and-drop modeling tool has gone through very rapid development of late (as had Maple).  This valuable engineering tool employs highly sophisticated symbolic computation techniques to model the simple to the complex, especially the multi-domain systems that are so frequently encountered in the real world.

STATISTICA 9.1: Continued Excellence in Statistics and Data Mining

July 22, 2010 7:47 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Here we are again with the latest version of an immense software set that is a workhorse and powerhouse of statistical analysis. Although it has its own programming language and runs R programs within it, it is menu-driven! For those of us who are programming-challenged (although your editor can code) this is truly a gift. 

The UnscramblerX: Still a Remarkable Niche Product

July 2, 2010 10:02 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

What’s so remarkable about it? Well for one it was originally geared to chemical engineers, is now used by a wide spectrum of chemists and is remarkable for its choice of tools, namely experimental design (DOE) and multivariate statistics. It does a good job of both and the developers have added many new features (this is NOT your father’s ver. 9.2!).

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Spotfire: A Visual Experience

June 30, 2010 5:55 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Tibco calls Spotfire 3.1 “predictive analytics accessible within Spotfire’s visual user experience.” I believe they are trying to convey a sense that large, complex data sets may be easily analyzed by both technical and non-technical staff, and the results shared with colleagues. This facilitates many “what-if” scenarios to gain further insights into what the data is telling them.

MapleSim 3: Fast and Furious Progress from Maplesoft

June 3, 2010 10:26 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

MapleSim is modeling and simulation software for engineering applications and runs on top of the Maple 13 mathematics platform. It is designed for Windows, Linux and Macintosh systems (32- and 64-bit). For the research fans, this software can produce optimized, equation-based models providing real-time hardware-in-the-loop applications.

Genstat 12: Incremental and Impressive Evolution

April 28, 2010 10:49 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

The addition of Genomics and Meta Analysis modules is priceless   web exclusive   John A. Wass, Ph.D.   Genstat is statistical software with specialized modules for genomics and meta analysis included. This new version has quite a few additions and upgrades and it appears that the developers have flattened the learning curve somewhat.

Morphit: A Different Kind of Spreadsheet

March 31, 2010 10:25 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Morphit is described at its Web site as ‘new spreadsheet technology used to handle multi-dimensional data,’ and I’m not quite sure what they were shooting at (or for). An informative white paper accessed from this site clarifies their purpose and gives a short history of spreadsheet development that some readers may find interesting

Maple 13: Mathematics and Modeling Made Easy

December 8, 2009 8:19 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Just when you firmly believe it could not be made much simpler to use, the developers have done it again. Maple 13 has many interesting new features, but the most overwhelming is in the area of usability. Having been away from the program for a short while, it was relatively easy to glide right in and begin calculations without any pain and suffering

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A Multiplatform Look at Multivariate Analysis

December 8, 2009 5:40 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Multivariate statistical analysis is utilized when more than one observed variable is under study, and it is important to examine relationships between these variables. Most data collected by researchers is multivariate. However, in some cases, it is desirable to isolate only single variables for analysis. There are a number of procedures in this family, and they include both descriptive and inferential methods.

Looking to the Near Future: Packages become faster and smarter

November 20, 2009 9:16 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Scientific data analysis left the pen-and-ink stage with the advent of hand calculators and computers some years back. Due to perceived needs, many software routines churned out in academia were converted to commercial packages to feed an ever-hungry industrial and governmental base.

State of the Stats: Some thoughts on current statistical software

August 12, 2009 10:59 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Some thoughts on current statistical software This is not a comparative study, rather an analysis of what users seem to feel is important in a platform, how well these items are addressed by present packages, and where the state of the art seems to be headed

What Will They Think of Next?! HP emulation software provides an exact replica of the actual calculator

July 28, 2009 9:18 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

I must confess that the announcement of software to let engineers (or anyone else) put a calculator emulator on their computer left me somewhat baffled. It seems to me that the whole purpose of the hand calculator is to have a convenient, portable unit to take into the field or in those everyday situations where a computer is unnecessary. 

Mathematica 7 Features Significant Evolutionary Changes

July 13, 2009 6:16 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Mathematica is too much of an old friend to say anything besides singing its praises. It never ceases to amaze just how much evolutionary progress can be made in even a short time. Many of these new features are something that may never be used by most analysts, but others are a welcome addition to the specialist. In this editor’s case, the genomic data access was a really nice surprise! Now onto the particulars…

JMP 8: Continuous Improvement

May 15, 2009 11:55 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

It is always a pleasure to greet an old friend and, with each new release of JMP statistical/graphics software from SAS, excitement never abates. This major upgrade includes additions to the statistics, graphics, QA, ease-of-use, SAS integration and data management areas. In fact, the ‘New Features in JMP 8’ listing runs to 19 pages. 

Maple 12 Delivers Powerful Mathematics Tools

March 6, 2009 11:38 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

As the title implies, this is software for doing mathematics. It’s been a while since I have reviewed this package and, since the developers once again enhanced the ease-of-use features, it’s time for another look. There are a number of enhancements (as usual) in this go-around that are worthy of note, and the Maplesoft folks again added several features to flatten the learning curve and relieve any angst on the part of the novice.

GenStat 11 Offers Treasure Trove of Extras

February 24, 2009 6:36 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

The Getting Started manual describes this software as “…a complete and comprehensive statistics package…” but, actually, there is a lot more to it. Most packages these days have a variety of statistical tests with diagnostics and options, graphics, data handling capacity, a quality (QA) module and an experimental design (DOE) module.

SigmaPlot 11: Now with Total SigmaStat Integration

January 23, 2009 11:43 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

The SYSTAT people who market this product have thrown me a curve. For years, I have bemoaned the fact that most of the upgrade and development efforts that went into the SigmaPlot/SigmaStat software seemed to be biased to the plot side. Imagine my joy as I discovered that SigmaStat is now fully included within SigmaPlot 11!

SYSTAT 12: Now More Stats and Graphs, Less Effort

November 3, 2008 10:10 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

There may be more than a grain of truth to the marketing blurb I borrowed in the headline. As with many other successful packages, this one has come a long way from its command-line origins. I had found the earlier versions of this software to be rather plain and stiff.

The Magic of Genomics: JMP Genomics 3.2 offers the statistical power of SAS with the simplicity of JMP

September 2, 2008 8:39 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

This is probably the most challenging review that I’ve done to date. It involves not only the complexity of genetics, but layers on the difficultyof mathematics and the frustrations of programming and algorithms. Add to this the fact that the testing work was done through two computers and involved the Internet.

Adventures with the Wolfram Demonstrations Project

July 31, 2008 7:06 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

If this column is vaguely reminiscent of my last column and seems a bit like shameless pandering to Wolfram Research, well...it is! Whether finding a site on my own or being pointed in that direction by others, upon see-ing something that is not only informative, non-trivial and interesting, but also easy-to-grasp, colorful and fun, there is a compulsion to share with colleagues.

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