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Learning with statistics

 
 
Mark
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      06-27-2003
Hello all,

I am new to programming but would like to learn some basics using the
java language, I hear its a good all around starter language to learn.
How I wanted to begin was, this is after going through the sun or
other tutorials, build some applets that perform various statistical
analysis. Does anyone know where or if I can find classes for
statistics that would save time and aid me in learning??

Thanks in advance!

Mark
 
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Marco Schmidt
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      06-29-2003
Mark:

[...]

>Does anyone know where or if I can find classes for
>statistics that would save time and aid me in learning??


I find those two mutually exclusive. If you write your statistics
classes yourself, you'll learn in the process. If you use existing
ones, you won't. The latter is not a bad thing per se, not reinventing
the wheel can save time, money and existing code may be more stable.
But it seems that you do want to learn, so I'd start from scratch.

At <http://www.mathtools.net/Java/Statistics/index.html> you'll find
pointers to existing code.

If you want to do it yourself, important classes in the runtime
library are java.lang.Math and maybe the java.math package.

The most important gotcha for Java and maths is probably that floating
point types are imprecise. As an example,

System.out.println(3.65 + 0.05 == 3.70);

prints "false", although one should expect "true". See
<http://mindprod.com/jgloss/floatingpoint.html> for more information.

Google will find a lot of code if you enter java plus any specific
keyword.

Regards,
Marco
--
Please reply in the newsgroup, not by email!
Java programming tips: http://jiu.sourceforge.net/javatips.html
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Marc Rochkind
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      06-29-2003
On 27 Jun 2003 04:34:00 -0700, Mark <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I am new to programming but would like to learn some basics using the
> java language, I hear its a good all around starter language to learn.


Not for someone completely new to programming, in my opinion. I would
suggest Python instead.

> How I wanted to begin was, this is after going through the sun or
> other tutorials, build some applets that perform various statistical
> analysis.


If you're set on Java, I would start with an application, not an applet. It
runs in a simpler environment, with fewer restrictions (e.g., file I/O is
allowed), and is much simpler to begin with.

> Does anyone know where or if I can find classes for
> statistics that would save time and aid me in learning??
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Mark
>


--Marc

 
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Draken
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      06-29-2003
> Not for someone completely new to programming, in my opinion. I would
> suggest Python instead.


I am new to programming myself, however in Western Australia every
university we have uses Java as their introduction language. I started in
ADA myself, but my university has made the switch to Java this year. So as
for Java not being a good introductory language?? I would strongly disagree.

I have just looked at some Python and it seems you would learn nothing but
bad habits from learning in Python as in introductory language. You dont
even need to declare variable types. It also looks as if Python uses white
space for scope/blocks etc. That should cause a newbie a few headaches.
This is from reading just the first few paragraphs of a tutorial on Python,
how many other bad habits or traps for newbies can there be?

The second problem with Python is the fact that there are not as many free
online tutorials readily available as there is for languages like C++
(although that is not so easy for the beginner) or Java. And unless the guy
wants to go buying books or paying for courses somewhere they are the
biggest help you can get. I used Yahoos directories and just looking at the
number of pages about the languages shows how much information you are
likely to find easily, 308 for Java and only 11 for Python.


 
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Marc Rochkind
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      06-30-2003
On Mon, 30 Jun 2003 04:43:07 +0800, Draken <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> Not for someone completely new to programming, in my opinion. I would
>> suggest Python instead.

>
> I am new to programming myself, however in Western Australia every
> university we have uses Java as their introduction language. I started in
> ADA myself, but my university has made the switch to Java this year. So
> as
> for Java not being a good introductory language?? I would strongly
> disagree.
>


[snip]

All good points... thanks for the response!

But, many people who want to learn programming are not in universities.
Some are still in grade school! Some are senior citizens!

Anyway, both languages (and many others) are available for choosing...

--Marc
 
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