Re: Book or Manual for 6?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg78352] Re: Book or Manual for 6?
- From: David Bailey <dave at Remove_Thisdbailey.co.uk>
- Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 05:39:00 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <200706270932.FAA01420@smc.vnet.net> <email@example.com>
Murray Eisenberg wrote: > Although I agree fundamentally with everything that David says about how > to learn Mathematica (and other things as well), there are still three > issues, the third of which some other poster mentioned: > > (1) Still, there are occasions when I want no electronic impediment > whatsoever and just want to look at a book. Clearly some thing are best > learned with the live system, but there are others for which a clear > exposition, with good examples and in a coherent underlying conceptual > structure, suffices. > > (2) As a university teacher for over 40 years, the longer I teach the > more I realize how very different learning styles can be. So a > multiplicity of learning modes and materials is warranted. > > (2) Perhaps it's not so much a printed book per se that I, and some > others, miss, but rather the quasi-linear (and spirally structured) path > through Mathematica provided by "The Mathematica Book". > > Just because the system itself may be a web does not preclude an author > from creating a more-or-less linear path through (part of) it. > > David Park wrote: >> As to the lack of a hard copy book: I don't think that a static book is the >> way to learn Mathematica. ... Hard copy books are truly inadequate for learning the >> new Mathematica. That is probably why there was little effort to produce >> such a book.... > I agree - there is something attractive about reading a book that is difficult to reproduce electronically. When you read a book, you get the information in a sensible order. I knew someone who didn't know how to combine code from several notebooks - i.e. he didn't realise that every time you execute a definition - regardless of which notebook (this was 5.2, so we are not talking notebook contexts) it ended up in the kernel. Unfortunately, this guy discovered the notebook functions such as SelectionMove/ SelectionEvaluate, and thought this was the way to combine code from several notebooks... I don't know for sure, but my guess is that he learned Mathematica from the help files. I reckon this kind of mistake is much easier to make if you don't read a book, because you hit upon functions with much less context. Reading a book (or attending a course) you would not encounter such functions until much later in the learning process. David Bailey http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk
- Re: Book or Manual for 6?
- From: "David Park" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Re: Book or Manual for 6?