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Wolfram Language - ABCs

Posted 7 years ago

It seems like there is an ABC book about everything, so I thought I'd make one for Wolfram Language (attached below). Turns out that many of the key concepts can be covered (see EIWL for a more grown up introduction) and it makes a gentle introduction.

I tried it out on my 5 year old kids. Amusingly, they thought "Union" was "Annoyance". More seriously, there is a general point to introduce words to children so that they become familiar with them. While there are lots of words that are not taught in early education, the list used as common function names is pretty small and manageable.

As usual here, there is the metapoint that you can make your own list. For some letters there are many symbols to choose from, and for others there are very few. For "X" I picked Xor and for "Z" I picked Zeta, the only really math one that I picked out, because there weren't any WL-common alternatives. I made heavy use of Names. Anybody have some other choices?

Here is an image from the start of the notebook.enter image description here

POSTED BY: Todd Rowland
3 Replies

Thanks Sander.

It is at least partly illuminating that there is a difference between what is popular and what is considered educational, and that what is popular can be quantified. I am not sure exactly what it means though. A few possibilities:

1) the functions that are useful for thinking computationally are different from what gets used to get things done or

2) some functions are common because they are utilitarian or plainly mathematical or

3) it could just be that my point of view represents a small minority of users.

POSTED BY: Todd Rowland

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POSTED BY: Moderation Team

Great list and a nice idea!

I would've chosen With rather than WordList, as it is more commonly used. But we can automate this process to choose the most 'popular' functions:


And showing the results:

TableForm[Transpose[results], TableHeadings -> {CharacterRange["a", "z"], sections}]

enter image description here

POSTED BY: Sander Huisman
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