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Mathematica Navigator: Mathematics, Statistics, and Graphics, Third Edition [Paperback]

Heikki Ruskeepaa
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 April 2009 0123741645 978-0123741646 3
Ruskeepaa gives a general introduction to the most recent versions of Mathematica, the symbolic computation software from Wolfram. The book emphasizes graphics, methods of applied mathematics and statistics, and programming.

Mathematica Navigator can be used both as a tutorial and as a handbook. While no previous experience with Mathematica is required, most chapters also include advanced material, so that the book will be a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced users.

- Covers both Mathematica 6 and Mathematica 7
- The book, fully revised and updated, is based on Mathematica 6
- The CD-ROM contains material about the new properties of Mathematica 7
- With the CD-ROM, the entire book and the material about Mathematica 7 can be installed into the help system of Mathematica
- Comprehensive coverage from basic, introductory information through to more advanced topics
- Studies several real data sets (included in the CD-ROM) and many classical mathematical models


Product details

  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 3 edition (17 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123741645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123741646
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 18.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Praise for the 2nd Edition: "Each [chapter] is a gem of clarity and concise application, but space limits the praise. If the book has any failings, it is in leaving the reader begging for more." - John A. Wass, Scientific Computing "Novices or beginners who may be students of engineering, science or mathematics ... definitely needs Mathematica Navigator. ... Those who do not use Mathematica everyday, and may work with it for a period of time and then not again for several weeks or more ... finds that Mathematica Navigator is totally indispensable. ... Finally, some users are constantly working with Mathematica, probably teaching courses or writing programs ... should definitely have Mathematica Navigator. ... Run, do not walk, to get your copy." - Robert M. Lurie, Mathematica in Education and Research "The present book is one of the best sources in many respects: its perfect layout, carefully thought-of exposition of the fine points of the software, sophisticated and illuminating examples that are all available on the accompanying CD-ROM. The topics discussed cover many topics which occur in the first two or three years of universioty curriculum in Mathematics such as calculus in single and several variables, linear algebra, differential equations, numerical analysis, partial differential equations." - Matti Vuorinen, Zentralblatt MATH "The book is a must for all beginners in Mathematica, and a great help as a reference for those who already know Mathematica." - K. Waldhor, Computing Reviews "... does a fantastic job at introducing Mathematica for the applied scientist. The book's use of Mathematica is slick, intelligent and comprehensive. It emphasizes Mathematica's strengths, and does it in the best possible way." - Joaquin Carbonara, Buffalo State University "This is an excellent reference book that I would recommend to any one who is thinking about becoming (or already is) a serious user of Mathematica ... I am particularly impressed by the organization which allows a mathematician to approach Mathematica by specific mathematical topics rather than using the organization of Wolfram's Mathematica Book. In addition, I find that the text is clearly written and the examples are well-chosen." - Bill Emerson, Metropolitan State University "There is a great need for this book. The outstanding feature of Mathematica Navigator is the great variety of Mathematica programs." - Mike Mesterton-Gibbons, Florida State University "Mathematica Navigator is packed with excellent examples ... an invaluable companion to any textbook for most Mathematica-enriched courses." - Fred Szabo, Concordia University --Matti Vuorinen, Zentralblatt MATH

Praise for the 2nd Edition:

"Each [chapter] is a gem of clarity and concise application, but space limits the praise. If the book has any failings, it is in leaving the reader begging for more." - John A. Wass, Scientific Computing

"Novices or beginners who may be students of engineering, science or mathematics ... definitely needs Mathematica Navigator. ... Those who do not use Mathematica everyday, and may work with it for a period of time and then not again for several weeks or more ... finds that Mathematica Navigator is totally indispensable. ... Finally, some users are constantly working with Mathematica, probably teaching courses or writing programs ... should definitely have Mathematica Navigator. ... Run, do not walk, to get your copy." - Robert M. Lurie, Mathematica in Education and Research

"The present book is one of the best sources in many respects: its perfect layout, carefully thought-of exposition of the fine points of the software, sophisticated and illuminating examples that are all available on the accompanying CD-ROM. The topics discussed cover many topics which occur in the first two or three years of universioty curriculum in Mathematics such as calculus in single and several variables, linear algebra, differential equations, numerical analysis, partial differential equations." - Matti Vuorinen, Zentralblatt MATH

"The book is a must for all beginners in Mathematica, and a great help as a reference for those who already know Mathematica." - K. Waldhör, Computing Reviews

"... does a fantastic job at introducing Mathematica for the applied scientist. The book's use of Mathematica is slick, intelligent and comprehensive. It emphasizes Mathematica's strengths, and does it in the best possible way." - Joaquin Carbonara, Buffalo State University

"This is an excellent reference book that I would recommend to any one who is thinking about becoming (or already is) a serious user of Mathematica ... I am particularly impressed by the organization which allows a mathematician to approach Mathematica by specific mathematical topics rather than using the organization of Wolfram's Mathematica Book. In addition, I find that the text is clearly written and the examples are well-chosen." - Bill Emerson, Metropolitan State University

"There is a great need for this book. The outstanding feature of Mathematica Navigator is the great variety of Mathematica programs." - Mike Mesterton-Gibbons, Florida State University

"Mathematica Navigator is packed with excellent examples ... an invaluable companion to any textbook for most Mathematica-enriched courses." - Fred Szabo, Concordia University --K. Waldhör, Computing Reviews

About the Author

Heikki Ruskeepää teaches applied mathematics at the University of Turku. He has published guides on mathematical software such as Macsyma, Mathematica, and SAS/OR. Ruskeepää received his Ph.D. from the Department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Turku, Finland. He has also published several books in Finnish.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mathematica is an excellent program, with good built-in and online documentation - although many feel the Documentation Centre in version 6 is not as good as the Help Browser in version 5.2. But sooner or later you will find a problem for which the official Mathematica documentation does not help. The program can then be very frustrating, as the syntax is complicated and error messages can be very cryptic. Help online is painfully slow, as the official resource, the news group comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica (Mathgroup), is moderated, so help requests have to be approved before they will appear. Hence Mathematica users will need one or more good books - more so than with other similar programs where there are popular online community resources.

In addition to the Mathematica Navigator by Ruskeepaa, I own several other books on Mathematica, including:
* The Mathematica GuideBook for Symbolics by Michael Trott
* The Mathematica GuideBook: Programming by Michael Trott
* Stephen Wolfram's official Mathematica book (5th edition).
* The inexpensive Schaum's Outline of Mathematica by Eugene Don.
* An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica, 3rd edition by Paul Wellin
* The 1st and 3rd editions of Programming in Mathematica by Roman Maeder.
plus a few more old books I've either had a very long time or bought very cheaply on Amazon.

Given the choice of only one book, I would choose Mathematica Navigator by Ruskeepaa. It comes with a CD-ROM which has the whole contents of the book, which may be integrated into Mathematica's help system. It's not unique in that respect, as so do Micheal Trott's Mathematica Guidebooks, but they have far too much irrelevant material in them. Ruskeepaa's book sticks to important facts about Mathematica.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As others have commented, this book is an ideal guide to Mathematica, which is so different from most other programming environmetnts. It is comprehensive and up to date and explains very well how to make use of the myriad of capabilities of Mathematica with genuinely useful examples. It could be described as the "missing manual" in the way it provides the essential guidance and explanations that are needed to use the on-line help and references. It is a better introduction than Steven Wolfram's "Mathematica Book" and provides the basic information needed to exploit that book and the whole world of Mathematica.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mathematica Book I've read 10 Jun 1999
By jill hellberg hellberg@unr.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This comprehensive volume covers many topics. Indeed, I would probably call it the most COMPREHENSIVE yet GENERAL text on the inner workings of the Mathematica program. For instance, Dr. Ruskeepaa treats the topic of 4 dimensional graphics, and I have not found that topis highlighted in any text. Furthermore, when it comes to specific mathematical models, such as difference equations, more information is located in this volume that anywhere else [except perhaps the on-line MathSource Mathematica Library]. Dr. Ruskeepaa's book not only demonstrates the basics in each category, but goes beyond what other resources have taught me. I highly recommend this book! Additionally, the CD-ROM which accompanies the book is quite handy. Lastly, I have had occaision to ask Dr. Ruskeepaa specific questions, and he has been MORE THAN HELPFUL and PUNCTUAL in providing me with solutions from his vast Mathematica knowledge. FIVE STARS -- better than any Mathematica book [I've seen most Mathematica books about graphics, physics and science; and programming].
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Mathematica? Buy This Book NOW! 14 July 2004
By Buck Field - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The positive reviews were right on the money, this book is the best! It allowed me to start using Mathematica with ease, compared to the many hours of past frustration while working on optimizations. I fought endlessly, struggling to decipher the software's baroque navigation, cryptic errors, hostility to the user which borders on abuse - but now Mathematica and I are becoming great friends thanks to Heikki Ruskeepaa's wonderful tome. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BOOK!!!
Of particular benefit is the guidance s/he provides for best practices in formatting cells to avoid common, productivity-killing pitfalls.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Mathematica and Applied Mathematics 3 Dec 2000
By Artan Qerushi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have many books on Mathematica and use Mathematica a lot to do both symbolic and numerical calcualtions. This book is the best I have seen. I would recommend it to anyone using Mathematica for serious symbolic or computational work. If you are looking for a book about applied mathematics and numerical methods with Mathematica this is the one. The treatment of the graphical capabilities of Mathematica is complete and very useful. The only minor criticism I would have for this book is that it has no unsolved exercises and problems. However the examples presented are excellent. I have the highest regard for the author of this book. He has produced a superb piece of work!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, but it needs an update for version 6 of Mathematica 14 Dec 2007
By D. R. Kirkby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mathematica is an excellent program, with good built-in and online documentation - although many feel the Documentation Centre in version 6 is not as good as the Help Browser in version 5.2. But sooner or later you will find a problem for which the official Mathematica documentation does not help. The program can then be very frustrating, as the syntax is complicated and error messages can be very cryptic. Help online is painfully slow, as the official resource, the news group comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica (Mathgroup), is moderated, so help requests have to be approved before they will appear. (The newsgroup sci.math.symbolic is sometimes helpful and since its not controlled by Wolfram Research, posts appear immediately). Hence Mathematica users will need one or more good books - more so than with other similar programs such as Maple or Matlab.

In addition to the book Mathematica Navigator by Ruskeepaa, I own several other books on Mathematica, including:
* The Mathematica Book, Fifth Edition by Stephen Wolfram
* The Mathematica Guidebook: Programming by Michael Trott.
* The Mathematica GuideBook for Symbolics (w/ DVD) by Michael Trott.
* Schaum's Outline of Mathematica by Eugene Don
* An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica, Third Edition by Paul Wellin
* Programming in Mathematica (3rd Edition) by Roman Maeder - I also own the first edition.
* The Beginners Guide to MathematicaRG, Version 4 by Jerry Glynn and Theordore Gray

plus a few more old books I've either had a very long time or bought very cheaply on Amazon.

Given the choice of only one book, I would choose Mathematica Navigator by Ruskeepaa. It comes with a CD-ROM which has the whole contents of the book, which may be integrated into Mathematica's help system. It's not unique in that respect, as so do Micheal Trott's Mathematica Guidebooks, but they have far too much irrelevant material in them. Ruskeepaa's book sticks to important facts about Mathematica. The book covers a wide range of topics. Sometimes I wish in more depth, but the book offers a good compromise between width and depth. In particular, the information on writing Mathematica programs is far too short, so its unlikely to satisfy someone wanting to write a major Mathematica package. For writing packages, Programming in Mathematica (3rd Edition) by Roman Maeder based on Mathematica 3 is arguably still the best, although Maeder's 1997 book is very old.

The only significant fault I can find of Ruskeepaa's book is its age. Mathematica 6 is a really major upgrade from 5 with many functions now built into the kernel which previously needed to be loaded from packages. Many functions or options have been deprecated. As such, some of the information is no longer accurate. But given at the time of writing (December 2007) there is no book on Mathematica 6 published, I think Ruskeepaa's book, which is based on version 5, is the best Mathematica users can get. However, if by the time you read this, someone has published a book on Mathematica 6, then it might be worth buying that instead.

I would have given this 5 stars, but it is getting a bit dated now.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction, great reference 25 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I started learning Mathematica with this book, and it got me up and running quickly. Concepts are presented in order (if a technique is used that hasn't been introduced yet, the reference to later in the book is always included). Explanations are clear. Multiple examples are included for more difficult concepts.
What's more, it's a great reference... A good index and appropriate references are provided. I really couldn't fault this book in any way.
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