I have read this question and this one but I think mine is different because they're searching for a way to learn mathematica comprehensively and basically but I'm searching for just some quick way that is enough for my needs.

I am totally new to Mathematica but I know MATLAB very well and I am familiar with C++ programming and $LaTeX$
I just want to use mathematica as a calculating tool when I'm reading papers and not as a programming language. I've chosen Mathematica because of its full support of symbolic math.
I want to be able to study multivariable calculus, statistics and linear algebra by mathematica (you now mathematical concepts related to electromagnetism) and be fast in my calculations.

I have put some of my calculations done on Wolfram|Alpha here to specify my purpose more clearly.

Partial derivation
Multiple Integral
ordinary differential equation
Bessel function
integrate bessel function
Inverse laplace transform
Matrix diagonalization
quadratic surfaces

I want to use Mathematica just as I use Wolfram|Alpha, as a calculator. But because of several reasons I don't want to use Wolfram|Alpha anymore and switch to Mathematica including:

  1. I'd rather use a software rather than an online website and store the results
  2. Maybe in the future, I will start to learn Mathematica comprehensively

What are the quick resources that I can master in just a day or two that fit my needs?

  • $\begingroup$ @blochwave I have explained at the top why I think mine is different. They're searching to expand their knowledge or teach mathematica efficiently but I'm just searching for something that fits my needs and is enough for a quick start and do your job $\endgroup$ – Sepideh Abadpour Sep 13 '15 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ This is my favorite hyperpolyglot.org/computer-algebra $\endgroup$ – William Sep 15 '15 at 23:32

On the home page of the Documentation Center, in the lower left-hand corner, there is a label that says "Common How Tos", Do a mouse-over on it; it will turn red, showing that it is a link. Double-click on it and you will taken to a portal to many of the tutorials contained the documentation, including links to "Do Calculus" and "Work with Differential Equations" found under the topic "Mathematica and Algorithms". You definitely want to follow those links. I think you will also want to follow a lot of other links you find by opening this portal.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm in the home page of the documentation center but I don't see such a thing like "Common How Tos" in the lower left-hand corner $\endgroup$ – Sepideh Abadpour Sep 13 '15 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ If you can't find the Common How Tos on the start/home page of the Wolfram Documentation in Mathematica (I can see it), go to the Help menu and select Find Selected Function, then enter guide/HowToTopics. $\endgroup$ – TransferOrbit Sep 13 '15 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ @zentient ok i did what you said and found HowTos but do you really see "Common How Tos" in this page where? I even searched "common" in the page but I couldn't find. Can you show me a photo? $\endgroup$ – Sepideh Abadpour Sep 13 '15 at 10:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @sepideh the link is in the home page of the built-in documentation (i.e. what you get if you press F1 in Mathematica) but not on the web page. $\endgroup$ – Simon Woods Sep 13 '15 at 11:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Simon Woods is correct. Click Help in the Menu Bar and then select the first row Wolfram Documentation. This looks similar to the web page but does have Common How Tos on the bottom left. The documentation is super excellent. For example type Integrate, select by double clicking and hit F1. It takes you to the help page, shows basic examples and has Tutorials, See Also and Related Guids on the upper left hand of the page. $\endgroup$ – Jack LaVigne Sep 13 '15 at 14:48

You first need to familiarize yourself with the syntax and general structure of the Wolfram Language, which Mathematica uses. As a form of introduction you could look at a few Wolfram introductory screencasts, for instance:

Once you have done that, dive straight into the extensive documentation and play around with a few of the examples shown there. You could start with a few of the obvious commands, e.g. Integrate.

Having said that, I would still urge you to take the time to familiarize yourself with the basics as a first step. How long did it take you to become conversant in C++ or Matlab? I would wager that it was longer than "a day or two"...

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your guidance. Maybe in the future I will have more time to start mathematica but currently I am working on my thesis and I want to quickly learn some of the basics of the tools to be able to use them $\endgroup$ – Sepideh Abadpour Sep 13 '15 at 7:23

Read some of the sections at http://reference.wolfram.com/language/tutorial/VirtualBookOverview.html Also, avoid functional programming until you are familiar with the basics.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.