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Re: Request for Collective Wisdom...

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  • Subject: [mg88578] Re: Request for Collective Wisdom...
  • From: Mark Westwood <markc.westwood at>
  • Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 03:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <fvpcoc$met$>

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 !


Mark Westwood

On May 6, 11:43 am, "W_Craig Carter" <wcraigcar... at> 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

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