While reading the Mathcad discussion group on the PTC.com site, I have noticed numerous cases where someone, usually a student, has attempted something more advanced with Mathcad than their experience would warrant. Sometimes they may have just started learning the program and their professor has asked for a solution requiring the advanced capabilities. In other cases, I suspect that the student may be overly confident that they can jump straight to solve blocks and nested arrays without a sound background in the workings of Mathcad. I also suspect that this problem is not unique to Mathcad and that users of other programs may fall into the same trap.
In one regard, I was fortunate because I started using Mathcad early in its product history. As new versions arrived, I learned the new, usually more advanced features available. Thus, I learned slowly, but I think Mathcad can be learned quickly, provided the new user follows a reasonable learning curve.
For my book on reactor modeling with Mathcad, I included two appendices to explain some of the basic Mathcad syntax and operations. I am including those files, both the Mathcad 15 and pdf versions below. Appendix 1 gives an overview of entry of variables and equations. Appendix 2 covers vector and matrix entry and operations. Mathcad users have access to similar and more complete tutorials, but other readers may wish to see examples from the learning curve for Mathcad.
For instructions in downloading the .xmcd files, go here.
I believe that the latest version of Mathcad, Prime 3, may be close in capability to Mathcad 15. Thus, I am about to install it and see how well it compares to MC 15. One of the first questions will be how well it converts MC 15 files such as the ones above and my other examples in the book. The next question will be to see how the Prode Physical Properties link works in Prime 3. Stay tuned!