Python Books For Enthusiasts
Monday, 25 February 2019
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Python Books For Enthusiasts
Python in Practice
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Python for Maths, Science and Fun

Finally we have recommedation of books where Python is used to teach maths, physics and algorithmic thought.

Effective Computation in Physics  

Author: Anthony Scopatz and Kathryn D. Huff
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 792
ISBN: 978-1491901533

With a subtitle of "Field Guide to Research with Python", Alex Armstrong thought this book warranted four stars, saying:

"This is quite a thick book but it attempts to tackle a very big topic - what a physicist should know about programming. According to this book the physicist's world doesn't differ much from any other technical computer user."

The book has a strong bias towards open sources software and, of course, Python. It doesn't tackle the hardware side of doing research and there is no mention of things like how Raspberry Pi could automate your experiments or how integrating iPython could help with data collection. There no mention of the use of tablets, apps or the wider use of cloud computing and of course Windows and OSX are very much "other countries". 



Alex's conclusion is that:

"The big problem I have with this book is that I'm not sure what is specific to its intended audience. All of the topics covered can be found discussed in greater depth in other books. However, it is useful to have them all brought together as a sort of "this is what's out there" sort of introduction to technical computing."

If you are any sort of technical computer user then this might be a good starting place. Don't be put off if you are not a physicist. 


Doing Math with Python  

Author: Amit Saha
Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN: 978-1593276409

In reviewing this book, Mike James thought it good enough to warrant 4.5 stars. The book aims to show how to use Python while teaching math, the idea being that the two help illuminate each other. By writing Python programs that explore the math you will learn math and by tackling math problems in Python you will improve your Python.


Mike thought that the main problem with the book is that it is light on the math, and found it irritating that the suggestions for further work the "programming challenges" are a lot more interesting than the simpler examples that are worked out in full. If the book expanded on these then it would be a much more valuable source book of examples. 

In conclusion, this is quite a good book but it's going to struggle to find its readership niche. If you think you fit into it - just enough Python and just enough math - then you will find some of the ideas fun.

Programming for the Puzzled

Author: Srini Devadas
Publisher: MIT Press
Date: Nov 2017
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-0262534307

This book impressed Mike James enough for him to award it five stars - but with caveats. The book is a collection of puzzle analyses. The idea is:

"take a puzzle, usually one that is simple to explain, and then work through algorithmic solutions".

The algorithmic solutions are not complete in the sense that you aren't handled a full solution on a plate and just expected to admire it. Instead you are led through a sequence of mini-investigations that usually involve some coding in Python.

In conclusion, Mike says the aim of this book is more to get you to think like a programmer than to teach you to program, and it's not the book for you if you don't like puzzles or if you do like puzzles but aren't interested in programming. He says you should buy it if you are a reasonably good programmer wanting to look at some classic and not-so-classic programming problems, or if you are building programming courses and you need inspiration for examples.



<ASIN: 1491901535>


<ASIN: 0262534304 >







Last Updated ( Monday, 25 February 2019 )