R VS Python in part

Posted by Jeffery Yee | 4:29 PM

However, as wonderful as R is, there are things R does not do well. Symbolic math is one of them (R CAN do it, but I find the commands clunky). However, the Python programming language (which is a high-level language that can be used to make stand-alone software) has excellent modules (like R packages) for matrix manipulations and symbolic math. Although I’m still new to it, I dare say that Python’s mathematical package is near as complete as MATLAB (at least for my uses). In fact, Python’s numerical packages are widely used in physics, astronomy, and bioinformatics.
Python makes use of three main modules for math: scipy, numpy, and sympy. Scipy and Numpy together make Python a powerful MATLAB-esque program, while Sympy adds capabilities for symbolic math. Matplotlib (and by association Pylab) provide excellent graphing capabilities. Another benefit is that the language is similar to (but not identical to) R, so that transitioning should be easy. R does have a python-language interface package, but it is slow and you still need to learn Python. So why not just run Python directly. 


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