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An Introduction to Programming with IDL: Interactive Data Language 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0120885596
ISBN-10: 012088559X
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An Introduction to Programming with IDL: Interactive Data Language + Atmospheric Science, Second Edition: An Introductory Survey (International Geophysics) + Schaum's Outline of Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables, 4th Edition: 2,400 Formulas + Tables (Schaum's Outlines)
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Ideal for those with no programming experience

From the Back Cover

In today's information age, scientists and engineers must quickly and efficiently analyze extremely large sets of data. One of the best tools to accomplish this is Interactive Data Language (IDL®), a programming and visualization environment that facilitates numerical modeling, data analysis, and image processing. IDL's high-level language and powerful graphics capabilities allow users to write more flexible programs much faster than is possible with other programming languages.

An Introduction to Programming with IDL enables students new to programming, as well as those with experience in other programming languages, to rapidly harness IDL's capabilities: fast, interactive performance; array syntax; dynamic data typing and built-in graphics. Each concept is illustrated with sample code, including many complete short programs.

This text can be used in an introductory scientific programming course or as a supplement for advanced science and engineering courses. Researchers and professionals in fields ranging from the earth sciences to physics, engineering, astronomy, and medicine will also enjoy using this introduction to IDL for self-paced learning.

Key Features:
* Margin notes throughout the text quickly point readers to the relevant sections of IDL manuals
* End-of-chapter summaries and exercises help reinforce learning
* Students who purchase the book are eligible for a substantial discount on a student version of the IDL software

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (December 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 012088559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0120885596
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David W. Fanning on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Nothing is more intimidating to a new user of IDL than to sit down at a computer with an empty command line prompt and a stack of manuals on their desk and be told to write an IDL program. Where to begin!? And the experience is especially frightening to a new user with little or no programming experience in any language, let alone IDL.

Ken Bowman has written an IDL book specifically for this user. It is intended as an introductory computer programming course for the research user with little or no training in any computer language, and it evolved from notes Ken uses in his own undergraduate IDL programming courses. It is meant to get the new IDL user analyzing and plotting data as soon as possible.

It is a narrow path he treads, because it is just as easy to offer too much detail as it is to offer too little information to the beginning user. Ken, for the most part, gets it exactly right in covering a broad selection of topics. I quibble with just two chapters. He sweeps aside the complexity of PostScript output by offering the new user two utility programs he fails to explain in the text, and his theoretical explanation of the FFT function left me gasping for breath and lamenting I hadn't paid closer attention in those long-ago math classes.

This is a book that will get you started, but probably won't answer all your questions when you turn your attention to more difficult research problems. Ken doesn't pretend it is anything other than what it is, however, and provides generous and helpful suggestions for where you can find additional information as you become ready for it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is super helpful. It explains things to a high degree of clarity; however, it's a fairly short book and doesn't cover some stuff I feel like. Although it leaves out some stuff, it doesn't outweigh it's usefulness. I would definitely recommend this to those just learning IDL. You should also make use of the help screen in IDL too, alongside use of this book. You can access it by typing in "?" in the command prompt.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
IDL has interesting syntax and very poor documentation as far as coding languages are concerned. I bought this book hoping to have more of a syntax dictionary and scientific code examples and alas, what is in this book is limited. Where this book is strong, is helping the first time coder understand what to do at a very very basic level.

If you have solid experience coding, this may not be the book for you.
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