F# for Scientists

F# for Scientists
Authors
Jon Harrop
ISBN
0470242116
Published
04 Aug 2008
Purchase online
amazon.com

If you’re a computationally-oriented researcher, scientist, or developer who needs to learn the basics of functional programming, .NET and scientific computing, F# for Scientists will bring you up to speed with basic syntax and programming language concepts. Written in a clear and concise style with practical and enlightening examples, this book is accessible and easy to understand.

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Sparky D said
I am brand new to functional programming and this is my 3rd book having gone through both Foundations of F# and Expert F# which details the language very well. However, I was blown away with this book. While it does have some technical elements/examples to it, I found that it helped me bridge the gaps in some topics I did not fully grasp from the other two books.

This was written prior to the F# Sept 2008 CTP and due to changes in the language, one or two examples (again,let me stress just a few) needed to be modified in order to be compatible with the changes.

I enjoyed all the topics immensely but without a background in DirectX or 3D programming, while the chapter on visualization is beautiful, it is challenging. My readings in WPF3D helped a lot in parsing what was going on here. In addition, while there is information on using Windows Forms, I wished there was a section (or two!) on WPF. However, the F# Journal (by the same author) does have a few articles on WPF which are also very excellent.

The only thing is that, sometimes, the explanations for the examples are not very thorough, and it is a bit daunting as a beginner. One such example is the Powerset from 6.4.15 (p167) which took a while to work through. As such, I made a blog post just for this detailing how to get the solution for this.

This is not a book to, per say, 'learn F#', the previous two are for that. F# for Scientsts is great if you already have the basics at hand. All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is an excellent resource/reference and in my opinion, it is one of those books you have handy -> Just in case.

Overall A+.

Steven Burns said
Being mathematically and scientifically oriented (and a fan of functional programming) I was destined to like this book.
This book shows you how to use F# in a scientific context. The other F# books show you the mechanics, this one tells you how to drive it at full speed and take the corners. Numerics, Parsing, Visualization, it's all in here.
The only two non-positive comments I can make about this book are:
- I wish the visualization chapter used WPF3D instead of DirectX
- I wish there was some tiny description for at least some of the arguments/variables used (p, q, f, n, w, etc). The reason being some of the subjects covered are non-trivial already and having to figure out the construction elements becomes time consuming.
With that said, the book is wonderful and if you end up liking it as much as I did, there's a paid subscription to a journal by the same author where you'll get bimonthly articles along the same line of this book.

M. Sottile said
I found this book to be very useful. Before reading this text I had already read portions of Expert F#, and have an extensive background with the older SML language that F# and Ocaml are related to. As someone who works in scientific computing, I have always wished for a reference that would explain how to use this family of languages in scientific contexts. This book provides an excellent discussion of this topic. The examples are familiar if you come from a scientific computing background, and it is useful to see examples framed in a mathematical or scientific context instead of the more abstract or simple examples found in texts aimed at more general audiences. I would highly recommend this book - it's a pleasure to read, and has proven to be a useful reference for me so far.

Jamie Bernardin said
I wish more books were written at this level of quality. While this book can be used by anybody that wants to get up to speed with F#, it's also well suited for use as a text book for an undergraduate course in applied math or computer science (or reference for a graduate course). It's well organized, well written, and draws from classic examples in mathematical computing.

It's not easy material, and deserves to be read slowly and perhaps a couple times - much like any sophisticated treatise on a difficult but powerful subject. Don't loose patience if you don't get it at first glance. If you enjoy this type of stuff, it's an absolutely pleasure to read - logical in flow and well articulated.

Anyway, this is a must-have book if you're doing anything with F# - or just considering it.

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