Finally, I released the fourth edition of my book, Symbolic Computation with Python and SymPy. Here I’m going to highlight the improvements and talk about price.

What’s Changed

This was a major update. On top of the usual edits to keep up with improvements of SymPy, a lot of new material was added. In particular:

  • A new section about Polynomials, which explains the different ways to create and work with polynomials, as well as performance considerations.
  • A section about trigonometric simplification, which is one of SymPy’s features I wished I’d known from the beginning.

    Example of trigonometric simplifications

    example of trigonometric simplifications with SymPy

    example of trigonometric simplifications

  • A sub-section explaining SymPy’s limited integration capabilities.
  • The section about Vector Integration was greatly improved, showcasing at the same time the capabilities of the SymPy Plotting Backends module.

    Example of a surface integral of a scalar field

    Example of vector integration with SymPy

    Example of vector integration

  • The biggest addition is the new chapter about the generation of Equations of Motions (EoM) of dynamical systems. The mechanics module is extremely powerful, but not the easiest to learn. Although users are required to know either the Lagrange framework or Kane’s method, the chapter explains the different ways to set up problems, showcasing the pros and cons of each approach.

    Example - Simulation results of a rolling disk

About pricing

The printing cost contributes a considerable amount to the final price of the printed book.

I edited the page margins in order to pack as much information in as little space as possible. Nonetheless, considering the new additions, the overall page count increased of 30 units.

Also, Kindle Direct Publishing recently updated their prices for print on demand.

As a result, the price of the printed book levitated. On future releases I will probably move the Appendix out of the book, and place it in the book’s GitHub repository. I might even decrease the font size a little bit in order to reduce page count even further, thus reducing printing costs.

What’s next for my SymPy book?

I’ll probably update the book sometime after the release of the next version of SymPy. It will be a minor release in order to keep the content aligned with improvements of the software. There are a few more SymPy’s modules that I’m keen to explore. However, I have little free time so the next major release is planned for no sooner than the end of summer 2024.

Finally, you can ask any question about the book or provide feedback by using the Contact page or the comment section down below.