Re: Request for Collective Wisdom...
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg88578] Re: Request for Collective Wisdom...
- From: Mark Westwood <markc.westwood at gmail.com>
- Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 03:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi W Craig I'm not sure if this is a paradigm of excellence, or a flag on an error, but as an unrepentant Fortran hacker my leading Mathematica mantra is: 'Mark, if you are writing a loop you are doing it wrong' and whaddya know, I write better Fortran now too ! Regards Mark Westwood On May 6, 11:43 am, "W_Craig Carter" <wcraigcar... at gmail.com> wrote: > (*Below is a request for suggestions for "hints for beginners. The > preface is a bit long-winded" *) > > I am working on an applied math for physical scientists undergraduate > text---I am using Mathematica as the engine to learn and solve > problems quickly. > > I have an appendix that I have been creating (empirically) for a > couple years: "Common Mathematica Beginners' Errors." This wasn't > difficult. > > I am now considering how to write another Appendix: "Mathematica Usage > Paradigms for Beginners." This one is not as straightforward because > it will be a list of short sequences of Mathematica code. The size of > the list should be a compromise between length, completeness, and > "orthogonality." > > Some topics are obvious to (subjective) me: work symbolically and with > exact representations; scale to remove units when possible; visualize > often and when in doubt evaluate as a number; pure functions are > power; avoid the outdoors unless you have applied the documentation, > lists are your friends... > > Nota bene, this is a book for undergraduates who have just received > the "physics, chemistry, and multivariable calculus" catechism, and > (typically) don't appreciate that there are common themes in their > education (think back...). > > (* Punchline: *) > I would sincerely appreciate thoughtful (bullet-type) suggestions for > paradigms. (off-line or on- as you please). > > PS: Implicit in this is what a dear friend called "The Homotopy > Conjecture." Give me a small working example, and it can deformed > into a complicated one for my own purposes. > > PPS: I expect a small fraction of snarky answers---I won't respond. > > -- > W. Craig Carter