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I got into a top 10 Ph.D program yah I know yay for me and I'll be starting this fall. As I always I'm planning my course work way in advance and figuring out how to tackle it. For my required electrodynamics class they use Jackson. I heard a lot of bad things about that book. When I took upper level electrodynamics using Griffith I found it to be one of the easier classes I took as an undergraduate. I'm incredibly proficient with Mathematica and know how to program in it symbolically and numerically. Because I know Mathematica I hope that it will save me a lot of time doing the mathematically intensive problems in Jackson and make the course significant easier for me. Will being proficient in Mathematica make Jackson a lot easier or are the questions and topics constructed so that their is no way getting out of spending 12 hours on a single problem?