Book Review: Packt Publishing’s NumPy Beginners Guide

by Amit


I received a review copy of Packt Publishing’s NumPy Beginners Guide by Ivan Idris. The book looks into using the NumPy library for numerical computing in Python. Here is my review.

(The book uses Python 2).

Chapters

The book has 11 chapters. The book starts with a bit of history about NumPy and the first seven chapters look into various NumPy functions for array and matrix manipulation, linear algebra specific functions, statistical and financial calculations and others. Chapter 8 looks into unit testing your programs, followed by chapter 9 which looks into plotting with matplotlib. Chapter 10 discusses SciPy and the last chapter discusses PyGame and how to integrate it with SciPy and NumPy to implement cool-looking games.

Each chapter also has sections titled “Time for Action” and “What just happened?” with the former discussing a practical programming solution and the latter discussing it.

Interesting Features

  • Hands-on style
  • Pop quizzes are a fun addition
  • “What just happened?” explaining the “Time for Action” is interesting.

Source code

The book has lots of code. The code examples are short and mostly easy to follow and well explained most of the times. I didn’t sit on my computer and type the codes, so don’t know if there are any non-functioning codes.

Summary

The book is interesting and it does well in introducing features of NumPy using real life examples, instead of simply stating what a function does. However, depending on the reader, the examples can range from difficult to alien which will make the reader skim through those pages. The author does a good job, but book needs serious editing polish.

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