MathematicaHandbook was developed by Peter Taborek for a course in mathematical methods for physics, chemistry and engineering students at the University of California, Irvine (Phys 50 and Phys/Chem 229A). The course provides a step by step tutorial in Mathematica and then illustrates the use of the symbolic, numerical and graphics capability of Mathematica to solve many of the standard problems of mathematical physics. The course is conducted as a paperless class, with all assignments and exams presented as Mathematica notebooks. The Handbook is a useful supplement to ( and possibly a replacement for) conventional math methods books such as “Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences” by Boas , “Mathematical Methods for Physicists” by Arfken and Weber, “Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers” by McQuarrie, “Advanced Engineering Mathematics” by Kreyszig, etc.
With the widespread availability of mathematical software such as Mathematica, many of the problems in the classical texts are reduced to simple one-liners involving commands such as Integrate, DSolve or Eigenvalues. For the classes at UCI, a suite of problems has been developed that exercises more complex problem solving skills that utilize and illustrate the power of Mathematica. Approximately 200 problems with detailed solutions are available to qualified instructors in a Professional Version of the MathematicaHandbook; inquire for eligibility at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taborek received his B.S. in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and his Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech. He is currently a professor of Physics at the University of California, Irvine. His research involves experimental work on condensed matter systems, particularly at low temperatures. He has a long-standing interest in the application of computer technology to education at the undergraduate and graduate level.