Physics 210: Intro Computational Physics: Suggested Hard Copy References


UNIX and Linux

There are many available Unix books representing a wide range in levels of presentation. With the rapid increase in popularity of Linux many of the available references now focus on that particular flavour of Unix. If this is your first experience with Linux, and you would like a hard copy reference,  I suggest that you first browse the Operating Systems section of a bookstore with a decent computers section (the UBC Bookstore has deteriorated over the years in this respect),  to try to find something which appears suited to you. The following books are fairly representative and if not available in town, can be ordered online:
  • Learning the Unix Operating System; Peek, O'Reilly & Associates. ($19.16 from An earlier version of this guide provided a good, quick introduction to Unix, but didn't cover any of the popular editors.
  • Unix in a Nutshell: System V Edition; Robbins, O'Reilly & Associates. ($43.95 from Comprehensive, ``quick-reference''-style tome.
  • Linux in a Nutshell; Siever et al, O'Reilly & Associates. ($61.95 from Comprehensive, ``quick-reference''-style tome with Linux emphasis.
  • Unix for the Impatient, 2nd ed.; Abrahams and Larson, Addison-Wesley, (824 pages, $52.50 from Quite comprehensive; covers both 'vi' and 'emacs' and will provide more than enough information for this course.
  • The Unix Programming Environment; Kernighan and Pike, Prentice-Hall (350 pages, $62.95 from A classic Unix reference which, although old, is still well worth studying for those of you interested in becoming Unix experts.

Maple (Symbolic Manipulation)

Our study of Maple will, in part, be based on the following sources, available online:
  • Maple 9 Learning Guide, Char et al, [PDF 332 pages]
  • Maple 9 Introductory Programming Guide, Monagan et al [PDF 398 pages]


  • MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications, Amos Gilat, 3rd Ed., John Wiley & Sons (2008)  [Optional text for the course] (374 pages, $83.95 from The UBC bookstore should also have this book in stock by late September.
  • Introduction to MATLAB for Engineers & Scientists, Dolores M.Etter, Prentice-Hall (1995). [Older, shorter, but much cheaper text] (145 pages, $38.95 from

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