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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Re: Recommendations for a programming book?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg55843] Re: [mg55778] Re: Recommendations for a programming book?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 07:15:02 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I forgot to mention "Introduction to Programming with Mathematica" by 
Gaylord, Kamin, and Wellin, which I used for several years as a textbook 
for a course on Mathematica programming. It is a highly recommended 
introduction; very clearly written and it actually has a few non 
trivial programing examples,  even though it is nowhere near as deep as 
Michael Trott's book.

Also, the lest paragraph of my message below should have read:

As for Wolfram's book; well I think trying to learn Matheamtica from it 
is a bit like trying to learn mathematics from an encyclopedia; I do 
not know anyone who has got very far with this approach. But, as a 
basic reference it has no substitute.

Andrzej Kozlowski


On 7 Apr 2005, at 00:38, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:

>  I think I have read almost all books on programming in Mathematica 
> and find Michael Trott's book by far the most interesting. Maeder's 
> book is elegantly written but actually you do not need it to learn how 
> to write good packages or how to document them: a better method is to 
> select one or two standard packages provided with Mathematica and 
> study them carefully. To me this seems a relatively trivial issue, not 
> worth a whole book. Maeder's two books entitles The Mathematica 
> Programmer I and II, based on his articles in the Mathematica Journal 
> are in many ways more interesting.
> Wagner's book is a good book on programming but it hardly shows you 
> how to solve a serious problem. For the latter Mastering Mathematica 
> by Gray is better but it comes nowhere near Michael's book. The value 
> of Michael's book is not really that there are "things in there that 
> are no where else" but rather that shows how to use Mathematica to 
> solve problems about which it is sometimes hard to believe that they 
> can even tackled with a computer program. It is completely wrong to 
> say that is has  "a huge number of unnecessary references". The worked 
> out problems and exercises touch on countless topics in Mathematics 
> and physics and the references are needed for the necessary 
> background. I doubt that there is anyone who knows more than a 
> fraction of the material involved; references are a must in this sort 
> of work.
> As for Wolfram's book; well I think trying to learn Matheamtica form 
> it is a bit like trying to learn mathematics form an; I do not know 
> anyone who has got very far with this approach. But, as a basic 
> reference it has no substitute.
>
> Andrzej Kozlowski
>
>
>
>
> On 6 Apr 2005, at 09:11, David Bailey wrote:
>
>> I remember when I first obtained Mathematica, how impressed I was with
>> Stephen's book. I think the examples are particularly well chosen - 
>> not
>> too simple as to fail to illustrate what a command does, but not so
>> complicated that you have to work hard to understand them.
>>
>> Because the book with the software is so good, it does seem hard to 
>> beat
>> it! I have yet to read Michael Trott's book, and what you say is
>> interesting. I wonder if anyone else can offer an opinion.
>>
>> As regards such things as checking that a function does not
>> inadvertently access global variables, I think this is something for a
>> piece of checking software to enforce - it is not so much a lack of
>> knowledge, but a mistake that you are trying to eliminate.
>>
>> David Bailey
>> dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk
>>
>>
>


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