My review of Penrose’s “Fashion, faith and fantasy” is available here.
Related Post: here
As a self-confessed Star Wars fan, it is sometimes hard to admit the brilliance of Star Trek. I must admit that the Trekkie in me has, of recent, been more active.
So it was a great surprise to hear about this book by Manu Saadia: “Trekonomics”. It’s started reading it a couple of days ago and I am pleased to have started.
When we think of Star Trek we fixate on the gadgets and our-there tech. It is not unusual to get newspaper headlines telling us how engineers and scientists have managed to bring to like this or that “Star Trek device”. Nonetheless, the thing that should be more obvious is the one that hides in plain sight: How does the Star Trek universe answers the Keynesian “economic question” of allocating scarce resources, particularly under the premise of benefiting all and deprive no one?
Want to know more? Take a look at this book.
Well, it is not a surprise anymore that I am currently working on writing a second book. First time round it was a book motivated for the use of Matlab and its counterpart Octave in the area of simulations suitable for students of physics, mathematics, biology, economics and engineering. It was a very good experience, and it seems that I enjoyed it so much that I am embarking in another project.
This time round it is a book more geared up towards more seasoned programmers, developers and business people who are interested in learning more about data science and analytics. The language of choice this time round is Python, and why not? It seems to be a popular choice and goes well with other activities I have recently been involved with.
I was, once again, pleasantly surprised that my publisher has already created an entry in their site to advertise the book. The date for delivery is currently utterly wrong, but please do keep an eye and I shall try to update you as to how the writing goes.
It has been a long wait, but finally today I got my hands on the physical version of my book. So pleased.
It is available from the publishers
I am very pleased to see that the Mathworks has now added my book “Essential MATLAB and Octave” to their MathWorks Book Program Member Support Web site. They have now made available a page for the book and it can be reached here.
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In the UK it will be out around the 4th of December so keep an eye on the Amazon page.
I also want to share with you an endorsement from Prof Sabino Chávez-Cerda from INAOE:
This is an excellent book for anyone approaching Matlab or Octave for the first time. The pleasant language used throughout the book creates the sensation of having the author by your side. If you have the intention of self-learning the basics Matlab from where you can start doing big technical or scientific projects this is the book that will help you to get your goals.
This is friendly a hands on practical self-study guide to Matlab and Octave for the beginner. With words of advice and caution. This is not what could be considered formally a reference book, for that purpose one have the help within any of both programs, but this is a book that will take teach how to walk to be able to run on your own. An interesting feature are the examples used to explain the use of functions and operations. They appear to be simple but it is years of experience that show the opposite, they can be the building blocks of more complex programmes.
The author presents without complicated language in the first three chapters the necessary commands to start solving simple mathematical problems. In science an engineering results are usually displayed graphically in different kind of plots. One of the aspects that I want to highlight regarding this book is that, compared to other similar texts on Octave and Matlab, the author introduces at an early stage how to produce line and surface plots with Matlab and Octave. It is very attractive to students to be able to quickly produce plots with scientific journal quality. Having this tool is like having a springboard that is complemented with the commands coming in the next chapter.
Chapter 5 presents programming structures common to high level programming languages explaining the particularities for Matlab and Octave. Finally in Chapter 6 the author presents examples form different disciplines exposed in a very and straight forward way that once they are reproduced by the reader, he or she will have the confidence on working problems of their own disciplines being these easy or with a certain level of complexity.
The side help are great as they can also work as virtual bookmarks when required to comeback to the explanation of a Matlab or Octave command. It has been shown in psychology experiments that this kind of features in a paper book are kept in memory and that can be retrieved more easily when needed.
There are a very few books devoted to the learning of Octave, although this might be because its high compatibility with Matlab or lack of knowledge of its existence. The main difference between these two is that Matlab is a commercial software and Octave is an open source software. On the technical side between Matlab and Octave there are a few commands that are different but this book helps you highlighting the most useful ones. Introducing Octave, is a plus for this book in developing countries where access to software with prices above one thousand dollars are simply beyond of considering even for universities.
I have found this obstacle in Mexican and Brazilian Universities where I was invited to teach a course on Computational Physics, the universities did not own Matlab and did not have the resources to buy it. I am a Matlab user but knowing of Octave I suggested to get it and install it, they were so happy as they had two things at once the course and a software that could be used for future generations.
The book is just the right size at above the two hundred pages that are enlarged by the friendly format that otherwise would be below the two hundred pages line. The density and the writing style of the text makes it easy to read and grab the information intended to be learned. It has references to recent literature and also provides information about relevant websites.
In conclusion, the book Essential Matlab and Octave, a Beginners handbook is an easy read that will provide the necessary tools to begin working with Matlab or Octave in a short period of time, that with some dedication it can be of no more than two weeks.
Prof. Sabino Chávez-Cerda
INAOE, México, OSA Fellow
I have received very good news from CRC Press in regards to the publication of my book “Essential Matlab and Octave”: The publication date for the book in the US is November 13th, and the UK following after one or two week.
Also, the endorsements for the book are very good and I thought of sharing one from Dr Shashank Virmani from the Brunel University, UK:
“Essential Matlab and Octave” is a superb introductory textbook for those interested in learning how to solve scientific, engineering, and mathematical problems using two of the most popular mathematical programming tools available — Matlab and Octave.
The book assumes almost no prior experience with programming or scientific programming, and carefully takes the reader step-by-step through the use the of the two languages for solving increasingly complex problems. It begins with elementary tasks such as the evaluation of simple functions, takes the reader through the basics of plotting figures and programming syntax, leading up to a chapter of more sophisticated examples of problems to suit a diverse range of tastes, including linear algebra applications, the solution of differential equations in physics and biology, signal processing, and problems in mathematical finance.
Dr. Rogel-Salazar has put a huge amount of effort into making the book accessibly and user-friendly in a way that makes it suitable even for the most novice of programmers. The layout of the book is used very effectively with boxes that give clear and concise example programmes and the use of side notes to point out where differences can occur between Matlab and Octave, and to provide references and additional information.
Just the right balance of content is chosen for a beginner to quickly reach a stage where they can begin to write useful programmes of their own. Enough detail is included to point out the power and major stumbling blocks, without overburdening the reader with too much detail on the more subtle aspects that they can only come to appreciate after further experience of programming. This helps the textbook fill a useful gap in the market, and make it an excellent companion to introductory courses on scientific computation in degree programmes, as well as an accessible but concise guide to anyone learning how to use such tools by themselves”
With the up-coming publishing of my book Essential Matlab and Octave, it is great to star receiving endorsements from practitioners and lecturers that have had a chance to review the book. Here I have the pleasure of sharing one:
From: Dr Alan McCall, University of Hertfordshire.
The text provides a clear and easy paced introduction to Matlab and Octave. The presentation is example led and contains plenty of useful applications drawn from mathematics, physics and engineering. This beginner’s handbook will suit a broad scientific readership.
- The in-parallel coverage of Matlab and Octave.
- All key software features are covered in a concise and careful manner.
- Includes many of the common scientific computing tasks for which the software can be used.
- Contains a wide range of applications from linear algebra, portfolio analysis, differential equations, signal processing, wave motion and quantum mechanics.
- Provides lots of useful practical tips not found in other texts.
- The numerous in text examples and end of chapter exercises encourage learning by doing.
- A suitable text for a short course or a useful reference for self-study.