matlab vs mathematica

MATLAB vs Mathematica: The Comparison You Should Know

MATLAB vs Mathematica is not the close competitors of each other. But the students are still confused about which one is better for them. MATLAB is one of the best programming languages for robotics and computational programming. On the other hand, Mathematica is the genetic programming language. In this blog, we are to clear your doubts between MATLAB vs Mathematica. Let’s start with the introduction to these programming languages.

Introduction to MATLAB

The full form of MATLAB is a matrix laboratory. It is widely used for numerical computation. MATLAB offers a multi-paradigm programming environment. You can use either an object-oriented programming language or procedural programming language. It is widely used for matrix manipulation, algorithm creations, UI creation, robotics, and many other tasks. MATLAB is used by more than 4 million professionals around the world. MATLAB was developed in the year 1970 by Cleve Moler at the computer science department at the University of New Mexico. The initial version of MATLAB was specially designed for the students.

But later on, a massive number of people from applied math also showed their interest in MATLAB. That is the reason Jacklittel, Moler, and Steve Bangert rewrote MATLAB in the C language. In this they founded Mathworks. Nowadays, Matlab is widely used for linear algebra, robotics, image processing, engineering, and scientific tasks. You can find both kinds of interface with MATLAB i.e., the command line and the graphical user interface. With the GUI interface, the no programmer can also operate MATLAB without programming knowledge because most of the task is done in MATLAB with the help of its toolbox. MATLAB functionality is not limited to the default toolbox. You can also extend its toolbox with the help of some additional packages.

Introduction to Mathematica

Mathematica is also known as Wolfram Mathematica. It is the most powerful software that is used to solve modern technical computing problems. Because it offers a complete environment for technical computing. It is widely used for neural networks, data science, data visualization, image processing, and many more. Apart from that, it is also used for scientific, mathematical as well as various computing fields. Mathematica is a software that runs on the Wolfram programming language. Mathematica is widely popular among students, educators, and innovators because of its computing environment. You can either run Mathematica on your computer browser or install the application on your computer.

In both cases, you can enjoy the full functionality of Mathematica. Mathematica offers 5000+ built in features for technical computing. It is quite easy and convenient to accomplish lots of tasks in Mathematica, thanks to its powerful algorithms. It also offers an automated work environment to automate repetitive works. There are lots of technical computing tools, but no other offers an easy-to-use interface like Mathematica. It is the only software that uses the GPU computation, which makes the GPU utilization better. There are more than 180 file formats supported by Mathematica. It also offers APIs and database integration, IOT integration, and cloud integration. You get the 360-degree technical computing environment with Mathematica.

MATLAB vs Mathematica (Tabular Form)

Development is fast.Development is not fast.
The program can be written in a simple manner using Mathematica.Coding in Matlab is not going to be easy and simple.
Code compilation is slow.Code compiles faster in Matlab.
Mathematica provides a notebook interface that literally looks like a notebook.Matlab does not provide a notebook interface.
The GUI of Mathematica is not that good.The GUI of Matlab is world-class.
Mathematica has a central database along with Alpha to perform complex queries.Matlab performs complex queries by itself.
Mathematica is developed to write mathematical functions in simple and convenient syntax.Matlab is designed to do parallel computation to do operations in vectored form.
Mathematica uses a computer algebra system.Matlab uses two-dimensional array systems.
Mathematica packages are built centrally and are not available to use freely.Many Matlab packages are available free to use.
Mathematica is not that great for simulations.It is easy to work with Matlab for simulations.
Mathematica is not free to use though the cost is reasonable.Matlab is free of cost.
We cannot share the code and the code is complex in Mathematica.In Matlab, we are able to share the code and are more readable.
Matrix problems can be solved easily with Mathematica.Matrix problems are made complex if it is solved in Matlab.
Mathematica has infinite precision.Matlab does not have infinite precision as Mathematica.
Mathematica is mostly used in academics.Matlab is mostly used in industries.
The use of Mathematica is not going to end any sooner due to lazy expressions and support of different languages.Matlab programming language is not attracting crowds due to python and others.
Mathematica is good in the mechanical engineering field.Matlab is good in control systems and simulations.
Mathematica’s documentation is not as great as Matlab’s.Matlab is documented very well.
Design tools are not combined with Mathematica.Design tools like CAD/EDA are combined with Matlab.
Data science, machine learning analysis can be done.Data science cannot be done using Matlab.
Web applications can be written using Mathematica.Web applications cannot be written using Matlab.
Debugging is not done in Mathematica.The code does debugging in Matlab.
Code visualization cannot be done in mathematica.Code visualization can be done in Matlab.
Hardware options are really good.Hardware options are very limited.
User support is not good in Mathematica.User support is really good in Matlab.
Mathematica is not easy to master but once mastered, you can solve any complex problems within seconds.Matlab is easy to master due to the documentation and user support.
Mathematica’s scope is more.Matlab can be used only for a few applications.
Mathematica is not good at prototyping.Matlab is good at prototyping programs or algorithms.
Mathematica is not used in big data analytics.Matlab is used in AI and big data.
Data for setup is not readily available.Matlab setup is easy.
No alternatives are available for Mathematica.Many alternatives are available for Matlab.
We cannot call any languages or programs through Mathematica.We can use other programs and languages through Matlab.
Mathematica is aimed for experienced users and scientists.Matlab can be used by students, industrial workers, designers and so on.
Mathematica is written in C/C++ and Java.Along with these languages. Matlab is written by itself.
Mathematica does not help in any way related to programming language.With Matlab, the basics of programming can be learned.
Mathematica does not have an inline result feature.Matlab has an inline result feature.
Mathematica has if statements and functions.Matlab does not have if statements and functions.
Mathematica is not good for random matrix generation.Matlab is good for random matrix generation.
Mathematica can be mostly used in almost all fields.Matlab cannot be used in every STEM field.

MATLAB vs Mathematica


MATLAB is powerful as compared with most of the softwares and programming languages. But when it comes to the comparison between MATLAB vs Mathematica, MATLAB is not that powerful. 

On the other hand, Mathematica is one of the most powerful softwares in the world. It is used for almost every activity in the computing field. It has a huge number of algorithms that make it more powerful than most computing softwares in the world.


Matlab is one of the best programming languages for image processing. It offers the best programming environment for image processing and robotics.if you want to edit the programming code of Matlab, then you need the external code editor. On the other hand, Mathematica also offers the best programming environment for numerical work. You can also use Mathematica for more programming work. You can edit code in Mathematica using its built-in code editor.

Learning Curve

It is quite easy to learn MATLAB as compared with MATLAB. But when it comes to advanced programming in MATLAB using a command line, MATLAB can be quite hard to learn. But if you want to learn MATLAB, then their official site provides you with some resources to get started with MATLAB, such as documentation, tutorials, examples, videos and webinars, and training. On the other hand, learning Mathematica is quite steeper as compared with Matlab. There is lots of online learning material available for the programmers to get started with Mathematica. Likewise, Matlab, their official site, provides the best resources to learn Mathematica, such as documentation, introduction to Mathematica, videos, books, webinars, training, and summer programs.

Programming Paradigm

Both of these programming languages provide a multi-paradigm environment for the students. But the programmers prefer procedural programming in MATLAB. On the other hand, the programmers use Mathematica as the procedural, functional, modular, and object-oriented as per their requirements.


MATLAB offers the best user interface to its users. It offers a toolbox where you can find lots of tools that can help you to perform almost every task in MATLAB. But the toolbox makes the UI of Matlab quite complicated for the programmers. On the other hand, Mathematica is not offering any toolbox because its interface is quite cleaner than Matlab.


It is the end of the battle between Matlab vs Mathematica. I would like to say that the MATLAB and Mathematica both have their pros and cons. But when it comes to graphics, both of these programming languages offer the best in class graphics. You can also run these programming languages on any operating system. So, in the end, I would like to say that Mathematica offers more functionality than MATLAB. It is quite slower than MATLAB, but you can wait for some time to get the benefits of all the functionality of Mathematica. MATLAB is also one of the most expensive programming languages. It also costs you more than MATLAB with less functionality. 

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