Mathematica: A Practical Approach
Published by Prentice-Hall
What readers say about this book.
``It can be a formidable challenge to learn or teach Mathematica, but
Nancy Blachman's new book gives a nuts-and-bolts approach that will
make the task easier... Casual Mathematica users will find the book
a useful refresher... Educators who choose to use or teach with
Mathematica in their course work will find this book an invaluable
addition to their library.''
from a book review in The Mathematica Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1992
by Dr. Wolfgang Christian
Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Scientific
Computation Center at Davidson College
``Nancy Blachman's book opens up the world of Mathematica. She has a
down-to-earth lucid style of writing and real experience with the system.
This belongs on your bookshelf.''
William R. Hearst III
Editor and Publisher
The San Francisco Examiner
``This book gave me a great boost up the Mathematica learning curve. It's
a tremendous resource of practical examples, and a valuable reference that
I turn to again and again.''
Paul R. McGill
Whether you are just starting out with the program, or you're an experienced
user, in my unbiased opinion what you need to know to harness Mathematica's
full potential is in
Mathematica: A Practical Approach.
From the Preface
You will see through actual patterns of usage how Mathematica can help you
to simply such tasks as
Can't you learn
from Stephen Wolfram's book Mathematica:
A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer?
Yes, but it's a bit like learning
English from a dictionary. As the definitive reference for
Wolfram's book describes all the functions built into the program.
On the other
hand, my book focuses on how to use Mathematica.
It provides examples of useful constructs
and functions, problem sets as well as their solutions. It also describes
features available on specific versions of Mathematica.
In my book, I
strive to show the versatility of the program as well as
This book is intended to get you up to speed quickly.
- manipulating expressions
- visualizing functions and data
- writing functions and packages
- importing and exporting data
- using Mathematica's powerful pattern-matching capabilities
- defining and using pure functions
I has been giving workshops in Mathematica to engineers,
scientists, and mathematicians across the country. I has put those
years of experience into this easy-to-understand Mathematica tutorial book.
It answers a variety of commonly asked questions like:
- How do I instruct Mathematica to calculate results to 30 places of precision?
- How can I label a plot with the command used to generate the plot
- Why does FindRoot not always give me the nearest root to the starting value?
- What should I do when my code doesn't work like I expect it to?
Mathematica: A Practical Approach is conveniently divided into 3 sections
-- each with its own special focus and practical tips to help you work
effectively with and program in Mathematica.
MATHEMATICA: A PRACTICAL APPROACH
is considered by many to be the standard
introductory text on Mathematica.
- Part I is ideal for the novice. It shows ways to work with
Mathematica interactively. You will see how to: access on-line
help, give instructions to Mathematica, utilize its numerical,
symbolic, and graphical capabilities.
- Part II covers programming. This section: delivers need-to-know
information on the most frequently used constructs for writing
functions, shows you how to write your own functions, describes
both procedural and rule-based techniques for programming, illustrates
mechanisms for importing, exporting, and formatting data and
expressions, and provides guidelines for writing a Mathematica package.
- Part II includes answers to the odd-numbered problems and vital
information on Mathematica. For example, here you'll find: a listing
of commands organized by what they do, a directory of packages
distributed with Mathematica, handy information about the Notebook
Front End, and a list of other important references on Mathematica.
Information for Ordering the Book
List price: $35
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Title: Mathematica: A Practical Approach
Author: Nancy Blachman
This book can be purchased at your local technical bookstore or
directly from Variable Symbols, Inc.,
6537 Chabot Road, Oakland, CA 94618-1618,
510-652-8462, fax 510-652-8461.
This book has been translated into Dutch, Japanese, Portuguese, and
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction to Mathematica 1
Chapter 1: Getting Started with Mathematica 3
Chapter 2: Numerical Capabilities 23
Chapter 3: Algebraic or Symbolic Capabilities 45
Chapter 4: Graphics 65
Chapter 5: Getting Around with Mathematica 107
Part II: Programming 115
Chapter 6: List Manipulation 117
Chapter 7: Assignments and Rules 137
Chapter 8: Data Types 155
Chapter 9: Writing Functions 167
Chapter 10: Local Variables & Procedural Programming 181
Chapter 11: Pattern Maching 191
Chapter 12: Anonymous (Pure) Function 203
Chapter 13: Traps, Pitfalls, and Debugging 211
Chapter 14: Input and Output 229
Chapter 15: Packages 247
Part III: Appendices
Appendix A: Answers to the Exercises 269
Appendix B: Bibliography 309
Appendix C: Commands 313
Appendix D: Directories of the Mathematica Packages 323
Appendix E: Electronic Information 331
Appendix F: The Front End 335
Appendix G: Glossary 341
Appendix H: Help 345
Appendix I: Index 349
Appendix J: Just What More? 365
Nancy Blachman /
May 17, 2003