This is our second book on non-mainstream programming languages in recent years and, for various reasons, many such languages are currently booming.
Our previous book OCaml for Scientists covered the OCaml programming language, which is a close relative of F#, and is targetted primarily at technical users (scientists and engineers) using the Linux and Mac OS X platforms.
In contrast, F# for Scientists targets primarily Windows users and covers many new topics from invaluable language features like extensible operator overloading with type inference and active patterns to important practical concerns like interoperability with Microsoft Excel and the use of existing .NET libraries for number crunching and real-time interactive visualization.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people involved in this work, without whom this book would never have seen the light of day. Don Syme and his F# group at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK) for creating what is a truly awesome development tool. We have no doubt that F# will have an enormous effect the world over, not only in technical computing but for general software development. Also, Robin Milner, Xavier Leroy and their groups for their pioneering work in creating this whole family of languages.
Over the coming months we shall endeavour to put as much of the code from the book as possible on the book's web page, including compiled versions of all of the demos.
Finally, we hope you have as much fun reading our book as we had writing it. Thank you!