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Hands-On Start to Wolfram


and Programming with the Wolfram Language

For more than 25 years, Mathematica has been the principal computation environment for millions of innovators, educators, students, and others around the world. This book is an introduction and provides a hands-on experience introducing the breadth of Mathematica and the Wolfram Language, with a focus on ease of use.

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About the Book

Readers get detailed instruction with examples for interactive learning and end-of-chapter exercises, along with tips from the authors

  • Master the Basics

    Never used Mathematica? Learn how to navigate the system, enter input, and incrementally build upon your results.

  • Create Interactive Models

    Learn how the Manipulate command can turn anything into an interactive model in seconds.

  • Compute Anything

    See examples of using Mathematica for algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, linear algebra, differential equations, and more.

  • Learn to Program

    Discover how the Wolfram Language makes programming easy, and immediately connectable to real-world data.

  • Share Your Work

    Create reports, articles, and slide show presentations that mix text, typesetting, and interactive graphics.

  • And Much, Much More...

    Other topics include working with graphics, creating diagrams and figures, importing and exporting data, parallel computing...

The Authors

We have 50+ combined years of Mathematica experience, and we have helped thousands of people get started using Mathematica and other Wolfram technologies


Cliff Hastings

Favorite function:

Manipulate[ ]


Kelvin Mischo

Favorite function:

CountryData[ ]


Michael Morrison

Favorite function:

Style[ ]

Free Extras

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  • Answer Key

    Request the answer key for the exercises by entering your unique book code here. You can find your unique book code on the inside of the back cover, near the bottom left corner.

    If you're looking to request the answer key for the Hands-on Start to Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition book, click here.

  • Free Training Course

    Visit the Hands-on Start to Wolfram Mathematica Training Tutorials page to register for a free online training course.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need to buy Mathematica to use this book?

    The book is designed to be a guided, hands-on experience to learning Mathematica. If you already have access to Mathematica, then you are all set! If not, you can request a trial license of Mathematica through the Wolfram web site.

  • Does this book cover Mathematica Online?

    Yes. Many features in Mathematica are available (and in many cases, identical) to features in Mathematica Online. The book is written from the perspective of using Mathematica on a desktop computer, and there are notes in cases where the discussed functionality (such as parallel computing) is not available in Mathematica Online.

  • Where can I buy this book?

    You can purchase from the Wolfram Store by clicking the Buy Book button at the top of the page.

  • Is this book only for people who are brand-new to Mathematica?

    This book is written to help users become more proficient in their use of Mathematica, but that does not mean it is only for those who are brand-new. Based on our experiences and interactions with thousands of users, we know that sometimes people use Mathematica for a very specific purpose and do not explore its use for other areas. It is not uncommon for longtime users to come up to us after a presentation and thank us for mentioning a tip or trick that will really help them out in their work, and we have incorporated those tips into the book.

  • I'd like to use this book with my class. Are there desk copies?

    To request a desk copy, please send your information, including your name, institution, course title, and a brief description of the course to

  • What topics are covered?

    Here is the complete chapter listing.

    Part I: The Complete Overview
       Chapter 1: The Very Basics
       Chapter 2: A Sample Project in Mathematica
       Chapter 3: Input and Output
       Chapter 4: Word Processing and Typesetting
       Chapter 5: Presenting with Slide Shows
       Chapter 6: Fundamentals of the Wolfram Language
       Chapter 7: Creating Interactive Models with a Single Command
       Chapter 8: Sharing Mathematica Notebooks
       Chapter 9: Finding Help
    Part II: Extending Knowledge
       Chapter 10: 2D and 3D Graphics
       Chapter 11: Visualizing Data
       Chapter 12: Styling and Customizing Graphics
       Chapter 13: Creating Figures and Diagrams with Graphics Primitives
       Chapter 14: Algebraic Manipulation and Equation Solving
       Chapter 15: Calculus
       Chapter 16: Differential Equations
       Chapter 17: Linear Algebra
       Chapter 18: Probability and Statistics
       Chapter 19: Importing and Exporting Data
       Chapter 20: Data Filtering and Manipulation
       Chapter 21: Working with Curated Data
       Chapter 22: Using Wolfram|Alpha Data in Mathematica
       Chapter 23: Statistical Functionality for Data Analysis
       Chapter 24: Creating Programs
       Chapter 25: Creating Parallel and GPU Programs

  • Are translated versions available?

    Yes. The following translations are available: