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Mathematica Cookbook Paperback – May 12, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0596520991 ISBN-10: 0596520999 Edition: 1st

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Mathematica Cookbook + Programming with Mathematica®: An Introduction + Schaum's Outline of Mathematica, 2ed (Schaum's Outline Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Cookbook
  • Paperback: 830 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596520999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596520991
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For those willing to spend the time, effort and money, Mathematica Cookbook is a worthy purchase for the discerning Mathematica user."
--Mike Riley - Dr Dobbs Code Talk

The Mathematica Cookbook does a good job of showing the wide range of capabilities of the Mathematica program... --Jerry Pournelle, Chaos Manor, The User's Column, August 2010, Column 360

[Mathematica CookBook] supplies a number of very nice examples with which to extend user expertise. --John A. Wass, Ph.D., Scientific Computing

About the Author

Sal Mangano has been developing software since the days Borland Turbo C and has worked with an eclectic mix of programming languages and technologies. Sal worked on many mission-critical applications, especially in the area of financial-trading applications. In his day job, he works mostly with mainstream languages like C++ and Java so he chooses to play with more interesting technology whenever he gets a chance.

Sal's two books (XSLT Cookbook and Math Mathematica Cookbook) may seem to be an odd pair of technologies for a single author but there is a common theme that reflects his view at what makes a language powerful. Both Mathematica and XSLT rest on the idea of pattern matching and transformation. They may use these patterns in different ways and transformations to achieve different ends but they are both good at what they do and interesting to program in for a common reason. Sal's passion for these languages and ideas comes through in both these cookbooks. He also likes to push technologies as far as they can go and into every nook and cranny of application. This is reflected in the wide mix of recipes he assembled for these books.

Sal has a Master's degree in Computer Science from Polytechnic University.


More About the Author

I fell in love with science at a very young age but got hooked on computers and mathematics only much later. I have had most of my professional experience programming complex trading systems in C++ but have more of a personal passion for AI, Genetic Algorithms, pure Computer Science and advanced software development paradigms and certain areas of theoretical math (although my ability on the mathematical side is not quite on par with my passion).

My two books XSLT Cookbook and Mathematica Cookbook are about very different technologies but there is a common theme that runs through both XSLT and Mathematica - pattern matching and transformation. This is one of the most powerful paradigms in computer science.

I like the cookbook format because word for word, cookbooks are the most useful of all technical books. Cookbooks teach by example and that is how people learn. Cookbooks are about getting things done.

Both XSLT and Mathematica are sort off the beaten path type languages and that tells you a bit about me.

XSLT is a very particle skill to have if you find yourself needing the deal with XML a lot. If you manipulate XML using straight DOM programming you are really doing way to much work in many cases. Give XSLT a try.

Mathematica is probably the single most useful system there is for experimental use of a computer. If you work in the IT industry chance are slim you will ever need Mathematica skills. BUT, if you like to tinker with ideas and data, if you like to explore mathematical and scientific concepts, if you want to know how it feels to discover beauty in a few lines of code THEN you really ought to give Mathematica a try. This used to be an expensive proposition but Wolfram has a fully functional HOME Edition of Mathematica. At about $300 it is probably the single best software investment you will ever make. If you are a student, it is even less.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By auilachs on January 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1. If you are new to Mathematica, this book is not for you. I have used Mathematica off and on for 10 years, so I know some of the basics that are omitted in this text.

2. This is for version 7. The current version is number 9. There are DEFINATELY compatibility issues in the examples. These can be overcome, but it will be frustrating if you don't have other books to refer to. If wolfram is going to change the syntax every 2-3 years, and the publishers keep selling old versions, people are going to get frustrated. Even microsoft-platform authors clearly put the version number on the cover. How much would you pay for a "new copy" of a software manual for Windows 3.1? Clearly, I should have looked more carefully when I bought it, but the publishers must know this is an issue.

3. The text says the code examples can be downloaded for free from the website. The website says you can download them for free from O'reilly. O'reilly wants $4.99. It shouldn't be this hard to get the support materials on a $50 book.

That stated, there are many nice examples in this text. It certainly beats the Rose and Smith Book (Version 4 from 2002).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Mchale on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very, very helpful in a place where mathematica can be lacking. Example code. I was writing database code for mining data. This was going extremely poorly. This book got me going with it. I have referred back to it several times. It has been a real gem. I had the PDF for free and still bought the hard cover. Seriously, the PDF was so helpful that I bought the book. There are two other must haves for use of Mathematica:

An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica, Third Edition

Mathematica Navigator: Mathematics, Statistics and Graphics, Third Edition

I would read An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica first. Excellent book. If you understand 50% of the book, you will fly with Mathematica. The material is very accessible. Then read/skim the Cookbook. Then skim the Navigator so you know what they have. Seriously, good books.

Paul
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Revere on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a brand new baby in using Mathematica, and am using Mathematica 8. This book starts off throwing out code, consisting of, relative to the absolute new guy, advanced work.

This book persistently uses the "cookbook" theme, so I'll give my review with this metaphor. I feel like the kitchen that the author expects is much more than is in the kitchen of a new programmer. I fortunately have taken a course in C, otherwise, I would have been utterly lost.

The other reviews of this book encourage that novice programmers and Mathematica users use this book as an advanced supplement with another more basic book on Mathematica. I fully agree.

However, the sections on plotting, customizing plots, and mathematical applications are very approachable and accessible. This book is not intended to teach one how to use Mathematica, but to add fine-tuned finishing touches.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Raja Kountanya on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
An extremely attractive title to even one who is an absolute dud in cooking, like me. But I was glad that it did not let me down at all. Though there are a lot of books on Mathematica arranged in several topics, this one suits an engineer like me who uses Mathematica as a programming language to solve problems in a specific domain.

If one is adequately motivated, even without much experience in Mathematica, this book can be a wonderful starting point. I would say I benefited much from the Functional Programming chapter. For instance, specifying default values for arguments to a function was not something I had known before. It is a pretty thick book so it would take a while to use up all the recipes in the book. For future editions, I would suggest to Sal Mangano to add material relating to Wolfram Workbench.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ES on June 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have examined excerpts from a few Mathematica books but none are satisfactory. This one helps, but not that much. I would like to find a book that helps me recreate thousands of lines of Matlab code in Mathematica. I prefer to create separate functions and build large programs from them. Mathematica programmers seem to want to create long strings with innumerable {} and [] that represent a procedure. The Mathematica approach is OK and may appeal to new programmers but I find it difficult to transition. It's difficult to find documentation on how to build libraries of functions and use them. This book doesn't do it.
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