Effective Computation in Physics
Field Guide to Research with Python
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: June 2015
Pages: 552

More physicists today are taking on the role of software developer as part of their research, but software development isn’t always easy or obvious, even for physicists. This practical book teaches essential software development skills to help you automate and accomplish nearly any aspect of research in a physics-based field.

Written by two PhDs in nuclear engineering, this book includes practical examples drawn from a working knowledge of physics concepts. You’ll learn how to use the Python programming language to perform everything from collecting and analyzing data to building software and publishing your results.

In four parts, this book includes:

  • Getting Started: Jump into Python, the command line, data containers, functions, flow control and logic, and classes and objects
  • Getting It Done: Learn about regular expressions, analysis and visualization, NumPy, storing data in files and HDF5, important data structures in physics, computing in parallel, and deploying software
  • Getting It Right: Build pipelines and software, learn to use local and remote version control, and debug and test your code
  • Getting It Out There: Document your code, process and publish your findings, and collaborate efficiently; dive into software licenses, ownership, and copyright procedures
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oreillyEffective Computation in Physics
 
4.7

(based on 6 reviews)

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83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Concise (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (5)
  • Novice (4)
  • Student (4)

Reviewed by 6 customers

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4.0

Very useful

By wookie13

from Manchester, UK

Verified Buyer

Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

Perfect for anyone starting to use computing in anger in any physical science. The chapter on version control and git is my favourite.

 
5.0

This book is a great field guide to scientific computing

By N. Swanson-Hysell

from Berkeley, CA

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

    One of the goals of the authors was to create the book that they wished they had had when starting graduate study in the physical sciences (and to have a book that they can now hand to their graduate students to get them going in the right direction). They sure have accomplished that goal. This book is practical, hands-on, well-written with helpful examples. It effectively introduces important concepts for how to apply technical computing throughout the research process. This book is exactly what is needed as a starting point for researchers to engage in effective and reproducible computing. I lead a graduate student reading group that worked through this book this past fall. In the time since, it has been great to see students applying what they learned from this "Field Guide" to their research efforts.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent explanation of how to use Python for Physics

    By N. Thompson

    from Troy, NY

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

      I'm currently about halfway through the book, and I couldn't be more happy with it. The first few chapters start from scratch, so anyone can pick up the book and understand programming. Later on the chapters delve into some very advanced topics, which will help even seasoned programmers.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent introduction to best SW practices for sci dev

      By JGA

      from Spain

      About Me Developer, Educator

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

        This book is a an excellent introduction to Python in scientific computing and has a strong commitment with good SW practices. It covers all the areas that a scientific programmer has to deal with.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good Book but Kindle Necer Delivered

        By Lightsquarex

        from AL

        About Me Educator

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Concise

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

        Good book, just brushes the surface of Python

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome Content

        By pavlovsr

        from CA

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Effective Computation in Physics:

          Starting out I would have really appreciated this text, the authors are very knowledgeable about their content and clear in their examples. Even as a more experienced programmer I benefit from this text just because it covers really relevant and current topics in scientific computing.

          The breadth of this book is amazing and is really ahead of the curve. The authors have great insight on the current state of important python concepts... at __all__ levels.

          Getting code down, writing efficient code, collaborating with code/research, new container tech and using hypervisors! Its all there.

          You know you need this. If you don't know you need this try it and you will.

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