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Book announcement

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg4125] Book announcement
  • From: wagner at (Dave Wagner)
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jun 1996 01:39:35 -0400
  • Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I'm very pleased to announce that my new book,
"Power Programming with Mathematica: The Kernel" (McGraw-Hill),
will be available soon (it's at the printer right now).

You can preview the Preface, Table of Contents, and Introduction

I've appended an abbreviated table of contents and
some excerpts from the preface below.

		Dave Wagner
		Principia Consulting
		(303) 786-8371
		dbwagner at

Power Programming with Mathematica: The Kernel
1  Introduction
2  Language Fundamentals
3  Lists and Strings
4  Procedural Programming
5  Functional Programming
6  Rule-Based Programming
7  Expression Evaluation
8  Writing Packages
9  Details, Details
10 Performance Tuning
11 MathLink
12 Input/Output
13 Debugging


There are scores of <I>Mathematica</I> books available today; why bring
yet another one into the world? I wrote this book to give
<I>Mathematica</I> users a comprehensive source for learning how to
program in <I>Mathematica</I>.  There are two parts of this statement
that I want to stress: comprehensive and learning how to program.

Regarding learning how to program: The majority of existing books about
<I>Mathematica</I> are example-based texts in a particular area of
application.  Some appear to be programming books, but typically the
author covers just enough about <I>Mathematica</I> programming to get
to "the good stuff" - that is, applying Mathematica to his or her area
of specialization. I, on the other hand, am a computer scientist, not a
mathematician, physicist, or engineer. To me, the programming <I>is</I>
the good stuff. This book is a reflection of how a computer scientist
sees <I>Mathematica</I> - a viewpoint that is, in my opinion, sorely
under-represented in the existing literature.

Regarding comprehensiveness: Certain topics, such as debugging,
performance tuning, and <I>MathLink</I>, are almost always given short
shrift in the existing literature - and there is no single source that
discusses all of them. This book devotes an entire chapter to each of
those topics. Furthermore, many of the advanced <I>Mathematica</I>
programming techniques found here have not appeared in any other book.
I have spent the last two years scouring many sources for this
information, including Wolfram Research technical reports, conference
papers, journal articles, packages, and Internet discussion groups.  I
also have discussed many issues directly with <I>Mathematica</I>'s

As a result, I believe that this book makes a needed contribution to
the <I>Mathematica</I> literature. Almost any <I>Mathematica</I> user,
at any level of expertise, should find things in this book that she
does not already know. At the same time, the book does not skip over
the fundamentals, so it is accessible to persons who are just getting
their feet wet in <I>Mathematica</I> programming.

The audience for this book consists of <I>Mathematica</I> users who
want to start writing programs, or who simply have a nagging feeling
that the ways they solve their problems could be improved. In addition,
<I>Mathematica</I> programmers who want to write significant extensions
to the system will find this book valuable.

This book is current as of version 3.0 of <I>Mathematica</I>.

The electronic supplement contains four major components: answers to
most of the exercises, source code for the <I>MathLink</I> programs in
Chapter 11, data files for the examples in Chapter 12, and packages
that are developed throughout the book.

There's much, much more on the Web site -
Please check it out at your leisure!


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