[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]
RE: Thinking Mathematica: Any suggestions?
In my humble opinion your post addresses a non solved question. In fact, there has been a lot of controversy in the forum about whether using procedural or functional programming or just a mix. My perception of the situation is that most users tend to prefer the procedural way (FORTRAN like) to the functional (APL like). Functional programs for complex problems tend to be awkward and difficult to grasp or modify. In the past, the paradigm of functional programs was termed "the oneliner" but it was abandoned because of the reason above. A few years ago, one of the habitual mathgroupers (I am sorry, I do not remember who) posted a draft of an article about a special purpose approach to functional programming based on the structure of the mathematical objects to be handled. It seemed promising but it never heard of it again, maybe some one could recall that now. In summary, mix your procedural experience with what you can learn -----Original Message----- From: Tyler [mailto:hayes.tyler at gmail.com] Sent: mi=E9rcoles, 03 de septiembre de 2008 11:47 To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net Subject: [mg91678] [mg91672] Thinking Mathematica: Any suggestions? Hello All: I have a very basic question, but one that I am struggling to come to terms with myself. Let me give a bit of background to put the question in context.... I am coming from a FORTRAN programming background, where I used things like DISLIN or plplot to generate figures. Sometimes I would import them into a visualization tool like IDL, but for the most part, I'm a procedural programmer. Even worse, some say, a FORTRAN one at that! Anyways, I've left academics after twelve years and decided to take the plunge and purchase Mathematica 6. So far I am liking it; however, there is still something of a learning curve here for me. I constantly find myself looking at the For and Do constructs when attempting to implement my algorithms. Obviously, I would like to start thinking in "Mathematica" so as to take advantage of what the team at Wolfram has done so I don't have to. My problem is, most of the examples I find in the documentation are of the simplest kind and I am having difficulty applying them to something more than Newton's method. Perhaps something like Finite- Difference/Finite Element "like" algorithms, where index manipulations are key to proper results? Again, this could be because I have a wealth of procedural algorithms that assume a particular approach. Does anyone have any tips or insight into how they made the transfer from a procedural paradigm to a more natural Mathematica one? Cheers, t.