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Re: Mathematica GuideBooks

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg61970] Re: Mathematica GuideBooks
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 22:41:55 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <dkhlpo$2bj$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:

> Of course this will be true only for persons
> whose principal interest lies in applying Mathematica to solving
> problems in mathematics or mathematical physics. In this respect the
> Guidebooks are in a class of their own. In fact, as far as I know
> there is nothing that remotely compares with them in respect of the
> width of the range of serious problems tackled with the help of
> Mathematica. The Guidebooks are also great on graphics, particularly
> those related to more advanced mathematical topics.

I've ordered two of them.  I believe one of these, the Symbolics volume,
will provide the others on CDROM.  I also ordered the Programming volume
which I hope will address some of the questions I have about the language
of Mathematica.
> But if you are interested primarily in the programming language
> itself or in issues related to the FrontEnd, typesetting, MathLink
> etc, then you had better look elsewhere.

For the most part, I'm only interested in these things in so much as they
involve features which are not supported the way I would like them to be in
the current version of Mathematica on my OS.  

Don't underestimate the intellectual significance, challenge and practical
importance of expressing Mathematics electronically.  Encoding complex
mathematical expressions in a formal metalanguage such as MathML challenges
us to think about what our symbols actually mean.  And understanding how
Mathematica works at the language level reveals a great deal about what it
means for two expressions to be equivalent, as well as how results relate
to assumptions.

"Philosophy is written in this grand book, The Universe. ... But the book
cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language...
in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, ...;
without which wanders about in a dark labyrinth."   The Lion of Gaul

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