- Series: Texts in Computational Science and Engineering (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 756 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 3rd edition (February 13, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3540739157
- ISBN-13: 978-3540739159
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Python Scripting for Computational Science (Texts in Computational Science and Engineering) 3rd Edition
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From the reviews of the second edition:
"This book addresses primarily a CSE (computational science and engineering) audience. … gives a clear and detailed account on the ways in which the surprisingly powerful Python language may aid the CSE community." (H. Muthsam, Monatshefte für Mathematik, Vol. 151 (4), 2007)
Top customer reviews
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The other third, however, is dedicated to GUI programming and integration with Scientific Software. It is full of very useful examples that are not difficult to replicate/modify for your needs.
It also addresses more advanced GUI programming using Canvas, C/C++ integration, efficiency, and other subjects I haven't read yet. If you ask me, it has everything I need. And man, when you find yourself without internet connection and *need* to make something work, books can really save you. True story.
5 stars for this one.
Here finally is a book with code examples that are very clear, are immediately useful to the serious programmer and filled with real life discourse on relative performance differences between Python and other languages that have a reputation for speed. There are clear examples of 'number crunching', producing images and even video animations, hooks into other scientific packages such as MathLab, etc.
If you are interested in really learning Python, want to come away from an hour or twos worth of coding experience with a module or two that you can use tomorrow and are not interested in code examples extolling Monty Python silliness, then this is the book for you.
While this book is about twice as expensive as many of my other Python books, I wish I had purchased this one first. Even though I've been using Python, seemingly every day, for two years, I kept finding nuggets in this book with what seemed to be every turn of the page. My focus right now is processing extremely large data sets of binary data but I'll soon be looking at image processing and I know I'll be reaching for this book over and over again. Don't hesitate! Just buy the book!
The beauty about Langtangen's book is that it runs through every one of those techniques. Instead of giving a basic example (what your google search would have provided) or a complete list of, ahem, useless techniques (what the manual would have provided), you get exactly what a seasoned data analyst needs to know to get moving with state-of-the-art commands. The author also discusses optimizations and alternatives in each chapter.
The book is also the best source for explaining *why* NumPy should be used by people working with large datasets. Folks love to create toolkits for Python, but some of these are a list of non-intuitive shortcuts that don't provide a substantial improvement over basic Python. Langtangen goes through the pain of explaining the benefits of the package (chapter 4.1.4), so that you can decide for yourself if NumPy is useful for your application.
I will not comment on the parts of the book that deal with C and FORTRAN integration because I leave that to more able programmers. I also will not comment on the extensive GUI building chapters because I do not build GUIs. I will point out, though, that I have derived full value out of this book simply by reading, and re-reading chapters 2, 3, 4 and 8. Some will argue that there is too much "basic Python" in these chapters for the whole to be considered advanced computational science -- my opinion is that even when the author describes "basic Python", his examples and intuition make it so that even one who has read a couple of reference books cover-to-cover will learn something about using "basic Python" to perform numerical analysis in a more efficient way. In fact, the book is a testament to doing really convoluted things in a really compact and elegant manner!