I have been trying to come up with a good organization scheme for my Biology Basics posts, which has resulted in a bit of a hiatus; hence, after those posts, it will probably be a while before I tackle any new fields. For a while I will focus on mathematics and its application to physics and biology, including those areas of math which new students find difficult. After all, actually working problems is a good study technique in the sciences.

However, at least in physics, most problems of any real significance are difficult enough that it would be rather tedious to work them by hand. Unfortunately, the main software programs in use by scientists and mathematicians tend to be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there have been projects aimed at developing open-source mathematics programs. A list of such software, with descriptions, can be be found at this website of David Joyner of the U.S. Naval Academy; he also has a webpage called, simply enough, Open Source Mathematics. As for communicating, the most-used typesetting program for math and science is LaTeX (pronounced LAY-tech); among other things, LaTeX provides an easy way to represent those mathematical symbols not covered by ASCII.

Also, I will soon start a list of resources, to reduce the need to rummage through these archives for a link.

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