The MATHEMATICA Book, Version 4,

27 June 1999

by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Research, Cambridge University Press 0521 643147 (£35/$49.95).


Mathematica is one of the most important programs for algebraic (in contrast to numeric) calculations. It is an indispensable tool in particular for theoretical particle physicists, who use it, for example, for computing Feynman diagrams and analysing the geometry of superstring compactifications. It is also extremely useful for graphical representations of data.

One of the most convenient features is the notebook interface, which allows WYSIWYG formula editing and evaluating. The electronic notebooks are highly editable and programmable, plus they allow for hyperlinks, can contain any graphics and are easily cross-platform transportable.

Wolfram Research has now announced release 4.0 of the popular program. It offers a series of improvements, like enhancements of built-in functions, algorithms, graphic format handling, document publishing, and improvements in speed and efficiency as well as in the notebook interface. While all of these features are very welcome, the difference between the previous version, Mathematica 3.0, is nowhere near as significant as the that between Mathematica 3.0 and 2.2. One hopes that this upgrade provides a thorough fix of all of the new bugs that appeared in Mathematica 3.0. Further information is available at “”.

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