The Foreword for the First edition of the book
«Mathcad PLUS 6.0 for Students and Engineers»

There is a story. A balloon floats away in the clouds.
The crew caught sight of a man and shouted: «Where are we?» — « You are in a
basket.» It was an answer of a mathematician. Only a mathematician could give
an absolutely right and absolutely useless answer.

Books, which just inform a reader about new
application programs duplicating the program’s documentation are similar to the
mathematician’s answer if not in accuracy but in uselessness. Often the book
comes out at the same time as the new version of the program with new
possibilities requiring new analysis (a phenomenon of the light of a dying
star). This is the reason why the author has not described Mathcad in a
traditional way.

The book consists of the problem (studies, etudes) ¾ in Russian one word covers all these meanings. The
author understands that this style may not be sufficient for a reader. That is
why the book falls into two parts. The first part collects the problems. What
are they? In the language of chess-players a problem means an exercise to work
out some situations in the play. The problems of this book can’t teach you to
use Mathcad (just as trying to teach somebody to swim on dry land), but they
can show the ideology of working with Mathcad. Simple examples broach the
critical mathematical questions (algebraic and differential equations,
simultaneous equations, optimization, statistics, simulation, and symbolic
mathematics).

A study by an artist is a drawing that is done in
preparation for a future picture. The mathematical problems of this book aren’t
only the exercises, but a kind of study where an attentive reader can find a
lot of advice and interesting ideas useful to draw large Mathcad pictures. This
is the third book in the style of problems on computer science.

An old song in the new style ¾ perhaps a translation of the English word remake. The
idea of «remake» is most popular in the cinema. We can often see a new film
based on an old scenario. This method is used in programming, for example, when
a DOS-version of a program is rewritten for Windows. The author uses remakes
too for some of the problems originally appeared, in particular, as articles in
the Computer Press magazine. In this connection the author regrets about
possible revisions and self-compilation.

The second part of the book (appendix) has another
author and another style: MathSoft Inc. (101,

The author expresses deep gratitude to:

*
N.A.
Slivina, perfect mathematician and very nice lady, for her help in preparation
of the articles — a basis of the book. Our discussion about the role of
computers in teaching mathematicians is on these pages – see http://www.exponenta.ru/educat/news/science/Mathcad_practicum2003.asp.

*
I.P.
Borovikov, director of the firm SoftLine, Steven Finch and Rob Dooly, managers
of MathSoft, Inc.

*
A.
Shevchenko and all the students of Moscow Power Engineering Institute (

June, 1996