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Re: How should I start with mathematica?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg85363] Re: How should I start with mathematica?
  • From: "David Park" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 04:49:06 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <fobjom$mqj$>

1) Go to Help, Documentation Center, and read and type. Especially Core 
Language, Mathematics and Algorithms, Visualization and Graphics.

2) Actually type in the Help commands in your own notebook, try variations 
that you can think of, and make sure they work.

3) Pay special attention to the Functional Programming commands. Just keep 
pushing the envelop.

4) In graphics don't overlook the use of graphics options, which at first 
may seem complicated and confusing.

5) Take the time to learn the syntax and basic commands before undertaking a 
major project. Then try to use Mathematica 'flying solo' on simple topics 
you already know the answer to.

6) Use MathGroup. There are NO silly questions. Silly people wouldn't even 
use Mathematica in the first place. Mathematica is complex enough that 
nobody knows everything about it and everybody deserves help.

7) Learn how to use the sectional organization of notebooks and learn 
especially the use of Text cells to document and explain what you are doing. 
Text cells are almost as important as Input/Output cells.

8) As you become more advanced try to develop and calculate everything 
actively within Mathematica. Write the definitions you need and use them. 
You will have to do this. Everything that might be convenient for your work 
will not be directly in Mathematica. This requires some effort but the 
payoff is enormous in terms of understanding, consistency and self-proofing.

9) Try not to think of Mathematica as just a 'super calculator' or as a 
'programming language'. And especially don't waste time trying to morph 
Mathematica into some other programming language. Think of a Mathematica 
notebook as a piece of paper on which you are writing and developing your 
technical ideas. Once you become resonable proficient with Mathematica you 
can think in terms of your subject matter and not in terms of computer 
science. We have already paid WRI good money to do the computer science.

10) So this is what I wish for you: when you click the Mathematica icon it 
will be just like when Euler reached for pen and paper. Maybe even better.

David Park
djmpark at

"Chengcheng" <tntwc_cn1 at> wrote in message 
news:fobjom$mqj$1 at
> I'm new in mathematica, Is there any approach recommended to start with 
> mathematica?

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