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Re: Good Introductory Text with a Physics Slant

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  • Subject: [mg81553] Re: [mg81516] Good Introductory Text with a Physics Slant
  • From: Curtis Osterhoudt <cfo at>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 21:50:46 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: LANL
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: cfo at

Hi, Kevin,

    Though it's somewhat out of date (I have only the first edition for v. 3
of Mathematica, and as far as I know, the second edition -- for v. 4 of
Mathematica -- is the latest available), I suggest that
Ruskeep=C3=A4=C3=A4's "Mathematica Navigator" is worth a look for this type of class,
especially if the students need a good coverage of Mathematica's basic
abilities without a lot of detail or cruft. If you're going to cover the
methods in pseudocode, and have the students implement algorithms in
Mathematica, I'd almost not bother looking for any other book.

   *However*, if you're looking for a book which stays more true to the
typical procedural programming methods, I would't go with "Mathematica
Navigator". It's a little too focused on functions and methods specific to

    I'd love some feedback on your experiences in the class, as I anticipate
teaching something like this (for the same audience) in the future.

               Good luck!

On Wednesday 26 September 2007 04:45:37 Kevin J. McCann wrote:
> I will be teaching a course  on introductory numerical and computational
> methods to second year Physics majors in the spring. The course is
> roughly 2/3 Mathematica based and 1/3 "another computer based software
> package that is not Mathematica". (original text changed at the request
> of Steven Christensen.) Most of the students will NOT have had
> differential equations; however, I will teach them some of the basics of
> this in the first part of the semester.
> I would like your thoughts on some of the texts out there for use in
> this introductory course. I like Gass' book (out of print) and
> Blachman's book for a non-physics intro to Mathematica.
> Thanks,
> Kevin

Curtis Osterhoudt
cfo at
PGP Key ID: 0x4DCA2A10
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments

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