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Re: Looking for more Mathematica online user groups/forums

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg98826] Re: Looking for more Mathematica online user groups/forums
  • From: Bob F <deepyogurt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 01:32:28 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gseoqf$ee1$1@smc.vnet.net>

On Apr 19, 2:53 am, meitnik <meit... at gmail.com> wrote:
> WRI,
>
> Since Home edition offers me only 30 days tech support and I am not a
> student around other Mathematica using students on a campus. And
> buying expensive books does only cover so much (And many are outdated
> or does not cover areas outside of math like the Frontend), where on
> the internet do I find help thats more real time? This group has been
> very helpful, but I want more rapid turn around time, and someone to
> teach why some code is good and mine is bad so I learn from mistakes .
> And a big thanks for the few who has taught me well. :-)
>
> I do find it strange there is not a more active WRI collection of
> people part of a tech support forum somewhere. A whiteboard version of
> the FE to aid in support could be a good direction. Collaborative
> editing FE in real time somehow? How about a Home Ed users forum on
> WRI site??
>
> Or perhaps allow Home Edition users email support; if it is so, be
> clear it is so and how long the turn around time for a reply. Or
> encourage local universities to create local Mathematica support
> groups.
>
> Mathematics is a social activity as much as any other creative one;
> helping each other is a great way to enjoy learning.
>
> Andrew, seeking some shoulders to stand on ;-)

Since this is a moderated list, the lag time is just something people
on this list live with I guess. The other Mathematica resources I know
about are:

1. This newsgroup list - comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica -- very
knowledgeable about Mathematica, but not real fast turn around on
questions. I try to usually reply to both the poster directly and the
newsgroup, so replies can be a day quicker, but this still means a
minimum 1 day turn-around, rather than the 2-day if you just reply to
the newsgroup.
2. The student newsgroup forum at http://forums.wolfram.com/student-support=
/list/
(it is moderated also but I don't think there is any way for them to
verify you are a student so anyone can ask questions I think)
3. The sci.math.symbolic newsgroup - not moderated but not dedicated
to Mathematica either
4. Wolfram web sites like MathWorld, etc (good list of these are at
http://www.wolfram.com/products/student/mathforstudents/resources.html
-- but these do not qualify as social activities
5. The Wolfram screencasts are pretty good about explaining very
narrow topics -- see http://www.wolfram.com/learningcenter/ for a good
jumping off point.
6. The Wolfram Demonstrations project at http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/
-- this is a really good place to see examples of lots of single-
purposed different applications of Mathematica
7. The free on-line Wolfram seminars at http://www.wolfram.com/services/edu=
cation/seminar.cgi
You might want to talk with your local college or school district and
see if there are any Mathematica users/experts. I agree it does seem
odd that there is not a more active Mathematica user community out
there. The moderated aspects of this newsgroup keeps out the spam, but
makes interaction a bit difficult.
8. The Wolfram Blog at blog.wolfram.com
9. If you ever get a chance to go to the User Conference in Champaign
(usually in late October of every year I think) - this is a really
great place to hear many talks and speak with many people who are
really heavy duty Mathematica users/experts, as well as many Wolfram
people who attend and give presentations. I went a couple of years ago
and it was a week that was jam packed with Mathematica info. Wolfram
puts a lot of the talks from all these on their web site -- e.g. see
http://www.wolfram.com/news/events/userconf2008/ -- if there is any
way for you to be a student you can get a tremendous discount for this
meeting as well as the training classes that are always given before
and after the actual meeting (meeting is usually 3 days on a Thur-Fri-
Sat and training classes run on the Tue & Wed and Sun before and after
the main meeting)

You might wish to suggest to the people at Wolfram that they set up a
Mathematica users forum like what Apple has (a corporate site with non-
moderated content created by users with the occasional input from
company people).

Start up your own Mathematica group on Google that is not moderated
and see what happens. Start up your own Mathematica user group in your
area, ...

But I think the best way to learn about Mathematica is to use it as
much and often as you can and build up your own skills to as high a
level as you wish. Another good book is Stephen Wolfram's "The
Mathematica Book" which is available on Wolfram's web site now as a
PDF (this is the ~1500 page book for version 5.2, but most of it is
still very applicable to how Mathematica works) - the PDF is at
http://reference.wolfram.com/legacy/v5_2/Mathematica_V5_Book.zip

Good luck ...

-Bob


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