The Mathematica GuideBook for Graphics 2004th Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0387950105
ISBN-10: 0387950109
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"Through an abundance of examples, this volume teaches the reader how to use Mathematica to visualize functions and data, manipulate graphics, and optimize their appearance. … the graphics GuideBook confronts you with a huge collection of 2D graphics, contour plots, plots of surfaces, free-form 3D surfaces, and animations. Hundreds of detailed examples and programs … illustrate visualization techniques, methods, and algorithms." (Willy Hereman, SIAM Review, Vol. 47 (4), 2005)

From the Back Cover

Mathematica is today’s most advanced technical computing system. It features a rich programming environment, two- and three-dimensional graphics capabilities and hundreds of sophisticated, powerful programming and mathematical functions using state-of-the-art algorithms. Combined with a user-friendly interface, and a complete mathematical typesetting system, Mathematica offers an intuitive, easy-to-handle environment of great power and utility.

"The Mathematica GuideBook for Graphics" provides a comprehensive step-by-step development of how to use Mathematica to visualize functions and data, manipulate graphics, and optimize their appearance. Two-dimensional graphics, contour plots, plots of surfaces, free-form three-dimensional surfaces, and animations are the core topics. Hundreds of detailed examples and programs show a large variety of visualization techniques, algorithms, methods, and tricks. These tools allow the reader to create virtually any possible graphic, from simple curves to scientific visualizations and artistic images and logos. Mathematica graphics functions are discussed in detail, explained in numerous examples, and put to work in programs that are all contained on the accompanying DVD.

Unique Features:

Step-by-step introductions to all Mathematica graphics capabilities

Comprehensive presentation of two- and three-dimensional graphics primitives and directives, as well as plotting capabilities for functions and data

Hundreds of unique and innovative scientific visualizations and artistic images

Website for book with additional materials and updates:

Accompanying DVD contains all material as an electronic book with complete, executable Mathematica versions 4 and 5 compatible code and programs, rendered color graphics, and animations

Michael Trott is a symbolic computation and computer graphics expert. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and joined the R&D team at Wolfram Research in 1994, the creators of Mathematica. Since 1998, he has been leading the development of the Wolfram Functions Site, which currently features more than 80,000 formulas and identities, and thousands of visualizations.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1338 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2004 edition (October 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387950109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387950105
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.3 x 2.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,629,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Schaefer on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is unfortunate that two recent Amazon reviewers have found it difficult to understand the programming style in this book. I am a retired mathematician, now an antiquarian bookseller. Over the last 14 months, I have been reading all four books in the GuideBooks set and am preparing detailed written reviews on their content for publication elsewhere. The Graphics volume, like volumes 3 and 4, assumes that the reader has read the first volume, Programming, the full text of which is available with this volume. Indeed, this is explicitly stated in Section 0.1.2 of the Introduction:

"The four volumes of the GuideBooks are basically independent, in the sense that readers familiar with Mathematica programming can read any of the other three volumes. But a solid working knowledge of the main topics discussed in The Mathematica GuideBook to Programming -- symbolic expressions, pure functions, rules and replacements, list manipulations -- is required for the Graphics, Numerics, and Symbolics volumes. ... The whole suite of graphical capabilities and all of the mathematical knowledge in Mathematica are accessed and applied through lists, patterns, rules, and pure functions, the material discussed in the Programming volume."

Mathematica's pure functional notation and nonprocedural programming and symbolic pattern-matching can appear quite cryptic, being difficult to understand without the detailed background provided in the Programming volume. This is not to slight the ability of people who have been programming in Mathematica for many years, for one can write procedural, pure function [nonprocedural], or object-oriented programs in this robust system.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Haiduke Sarafian on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Imagine thumbing through a technical 1340 page book full of Mathematica graphics codes. If you are a Mathematica user, you would love going over this book. Michael Trott's The Mathematica Guidebook to Graphics is a treasure. He generously shared his labor of love with the ever growing Mathematica user community. Each chapter of the book is flooded with a wealth of references; he has clearly done his homework. The number of reference chapters runs well into the hundreds, some chapters have more than 800. Reviewing the references helps to compliment the unfamiliar concepts. The book also has an accompanying DVD. I personally have not used the DVD; I'd rather rehash the codes manually and try to understand them by trail and error. Essential comments explaining the reasoning behind using the commands for the majority of the codes are embedded in the codes. This book is properly called Guidebook; it is not a text book. Its target audience is a semi-advanced Mathematica user. However, interested beginners may well learn a lot going over the codes. Chapters also end with suggestive practice problems, some challenging, but nonetheless rewarding. Michael is a physicist with profound mathematical knowledge and skills. He has developed his own Mathematica coding style. As we all may agree, Mathematica is the natural glue joining physics and mathematics together; the playground is Mathematica and the players are physics and math. In my view, this book needs to be in every Mathematica-using physicist's personal library. I highly recommend the book, and applaud Michael for his enormous efforts in bringing the extended graphics features of Mathematica to the fore.

Haiduke Sarafian, Ph.D.

John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor of Science

The Pennsylvania State University, University College
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian Watson on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an artist, I knew I was going to a raised eyebrow or two when I installed Mathematica on my computer. Math isn't art, the naysayers would chant.
Au contraire! And at last I have the book to prove it! Reading through normal Mathematica manuals gives you the briefest of cursory introductions to what the software can do in terms of graphics. Mr Trott's opus, however, was an answer to a prayer.
In excruciating detail he takes you step by step, teaching you how to develop the graphics that indeed show you that Math is Art! Page after page took my breath away, both at the complexity of the math involved and at the bauty that results.
Thank you!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Trott is one of the most gifted programmers and teachers you'll ever encounter, and one of the few mathematicians left who knows CAS at a PhD level and DOESN'T work for TI or HP with all kinds of "I won't tell" agreements! The four guidebooks in the Mathematica series represent over 5,000 pages detailing all aspects of numerics, symbolics, graphics, and most importantly, programming. No mathematician, engineer, researcher (including "R" biostats folks), computer scientist or physicist using mathematica can pass on this series.

Even if you use a "free" version of GNU-CAS or the home version of Mathematica (Wolfram Mathematica 9 Home Edition (Windows/Mac/Linux)), this series gives a peek into CAS levels that have long been unpatented trade secrets of TI and HP and very tough to decode. NO other good recent books cover the behind the curtain aspects of CAS as well as these volumes. If you're a math programmer, even if you love Maple, you'll find this series way helpful, at all kinds of levels.

Mathematica is a layered object language, and has multiple compile levels (with an overriding interpreter), which are essentially functions in what, as a programmer, you'd call arrays or hashes (or in Mathematica-speak, lists, functions, rules and patterns). You MUST read the programming book to "get" the rest of the series, otherwise you'll be stuck in what seems like a no-man's land of not being able to define your own classes yet not being able to use typical CAS-like functions in assembly-- when in fact both, and much more, are supported once you get it. We still use the graphics volume at our shader joes sub, and it is as relevant in 2013 as it was 5 years ago.
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