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MathGroup Archive 2006

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RE: Books on learning mathematics with Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg69278] RE: [mg69240] Books on learning mathematics with Mathematica
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 05:30:43 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Alex,

Do you actually have Mathematica?

If you are serious enough about learning mathematics so that it is worth the
cost, then Mathematica will certainly do the job for you.

There are good books to get started with Mathematica such as "The Beginner's
Guide to Mathematica" by Jerry Glynn and Theodore Gray.

The best way to learn Mathematica is to first read Stephen Wolfram's
'Suggestions about Learning Mathematica' in the front of The Mathematica
Book and then work through most of Part I, at least, in the book to become
familiar with the syntax and more common commands.

Then pick a non-Mathematica book, say a high school book on algebra and
trigonometry and try to work through it with Mathematica.

Mathematica works best when you take a 'mathematical' as opposed to a
'programming' approach. Much of this is encapsulated in the functional
programming and rule-based programming that is also a part of Mathematica as
opposed to procedural programming. You will soon get the hang of it and
think much more in mathematical terms.

David Park
djmp at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~djmp/



From: Alex Polite [mailto:notmyprivateemail at gmail.com]
To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net


I'm (amongst other things) an autodidact programmer. Quite often I'll
run into computing problems that I realize are well understood, I'll
do a google and find some papers outlining algorithms that tackles the
problem. Sprinkled in the text there's infallibly some mathematical
formulas. That's were my troubles begin ;)

One part of the problem is simply not being familiar mathematical
notation. Once I grasp what the formula express I usually have no
problem understanding the concept. If the formula had been expressed
in pseudo code, I'd have an easier time  following along.

I've recently found out about Mathematica and it seems like it could
be a great learning tool for someone like me. If I understand things
correctly, Mathematica will let me enter formulas in the syntax of a
programming language and then render them in standard mathematical
notation, right?

Now, to optimize this self study program, all I need is a great text
book that uses Mathematica to teach math. Preferably the book should
start with recapitulating high school math and than move on to
undergraduate levels.

TIA alex

--
Alex Polite



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