For questions relating to assignments to symbols, patterns, or expressions.

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95
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the distinction between DownValues, UpValues, SubValues, and OwnValues?

When reading through the documentation, you often encounter the phrases DownValues, UpValues, ...
25
votes
1answer
518 views

How to augment the realm of functions Mathematica thinks it knows how to integrate symbolically

My question involves extending the functionality of Integrate over specific integrals in the most generic manner. Specifically, is it possible to "hack into" ...
24
votes
3answers
356 views

Assign a randomly generated list to variable

Bug introduced in 10.0.0 and fixed in 10.0.2 I don't know if this is a silly question, but it really baffles me. So please help me understand this behavior. ...
23
votes
1answer
663 views

How do you set attributes on SubValues?

SubValues, as discussed in a previous question, are declared as follows ...
21
votes
0answers
300 views

Why does list assignment with a packed array result in unpacked values?

This is another question on the design choices in Mathematica. I understand that without direct reply from the developers it may not be possible to give a definitive and exhaustive answer to "why" ...
19
votes
5answers
544 views

Reassign values to symbols

I've got a situation where I have, say 4 symbols, a, b, c and ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

How to pass a symbol name to a function with any of the Hold attributes?

Given a function with the attribute HoldFirst, HoldAll or similar, and a variable, list, how ...
19
votes
3answers
377 views

Nested definition: How can I define a function with a passed-in expression?

Here's a simplified version of what I'm trying to do: ...
17
votes
4answers
796 views

How can I randomly generate a unique, unused symbol?

In a previous question on collecting terms for a multivariable polynomial, I answered with a solution that required a unused symbol to be used for a temporary substitution and back substitution. It ...
17
votes
4answers
308 views

Setting parts of a list

Suppose I have list a = Range[10] {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10} in which I want to set some elements to be a list ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How to implement the Observer design pattern?

As a programmer with a history with procedural languages, the Observer design pattern inmediately springs to my mind when attacking certain class of problems, mostly UI/notifications related. A ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Assign the results from a Solve to variable(s)

I understand Mathematica can't assign the results of a Solve to the unknowns because there may be more than 1 solution. How can I assign the 4 values of following result to variables?
16
votes
2answers
405 views

Does Set vs. SetDelayed have any effect after the definition was done?

I was always assuming that the only difference between Set (=) and SetDelayed (...
15
votes
2answers
196 views

Clearing a specific definition

Consider the case where a symbol has multiple definitions attached to it, a /: Subscript[a,2] := 1 a[b_] := 2 a[b_, c_] := 3 How does one clear (/unset/remove) ...
14
votes
1answer
243 views

How to make a function like Set, but with a Block construct for the pattern names

How can we define a function that works like f[x_]=ComputeSomething[x] and treats x as a variable that does not have a value? ...
13
votes
2answers
296 views

How to make use of NumericQ[x] = True (and use it safely)?

Basic Issue: I'm trying to understand the proper use of NumericQ's "magical" capabilities. Please consider the examples below. Actual question and some links are ...
11
votes
3answers
316 views

MapThread gives different results from ToExpression when trying to assign variables from a list

I have the following data set: data = {{"Jakarta","Surabaya","Bandung"},{1,2,3}} and I'd actually like to assign the numerical values to the categorical data so ...
11
votes
1answer
340 views

Triggering actions when a variable is set

Some built-in variables trigger actions when their values are changed: ...
10
votes
2answers
589 views

Scoping in assigning a derivative

While answering another question, I stumbled upon a problem I cannot easily resolve. To assign the derivative of a function to another function, typically one can do this with a ...
10
votes
3answers
323 views

Why does ++++x return an increment of 2 when the value of x is only incremented by 1?

This line returns 3: x = 1; ++++x However, the value of x after the increment is only ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

How to write a function-defining function which stores the function arguments in a stack?

I have a function-defining function SetAttributes[DefFn, HoldAll]; DefFn[f_[args___], body_] := f[args] := body; I am trying to modify this function to record ...
8
votes
2answers
107 views

DownValue assignment using Apply

Why does assigning a DownValue using Apply, e.g., ...
8
votes
1answer
154 views

Different behaviours of Default Argument

I don't really understand the behaviour of Default Argument. If I execute this command in Mathematica: In: {f[a], f[a + b]} /. f[x_ + y_.] -> p[x, y] ...
7
votes
2answers
261 views

How to replace a variable that was assigned a value before

Question How to make the replacement $f[x] \to f[y]$ for an abitrary function $f$ if $x$ was assigned a value before? Example 1 How can I make the replacement $x +1 \to y + 1$ if I have assigned ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Is this a good way to assign a Solve result to a function?

My code: ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

How to ignore list elements when extracting with pattern matching

If I have a simple list, say {1, 2, 3}, and I want to extract a subset of the elements, what is the correct syntax? e.g. { i, _, j } = {1, 2, 3} I want i = 1 ...
7
votes
1answer
283 views

Assignment rule to distribute matrix-multiplication over custom notation

I'm trying to write some code to do basic algebraic manipulations in BraKet notation. Thus far I have a function KetToVec which will convert any expression of the form a1 Ket[s1]+ b Ket[s2] +... to a ...
7
votes
0answers
70 views

Maximum number of literal values for SetDelayed?

Under what circumstances should I expect Mathematica to turn a delayed assignment into an immediate assignment? I have put together a minimal example (available here) which demonstrates this behavior. ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Assigning values to a list of variable names

As part of a calculation I need to do something like this Evaluate[{aaa, bbb, ccc}[[ index]]] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} so if index is ...
6
votes
2answers
101 views

How to name a variable with the value of another variable?

A simple but very important (at least for me) question. In some languages for defining a variable, for example, we can do: i=10 "d"&i=30 So I have defined the variable d10, and... d10=30 ...
6
votes
3answers
282 views

Understanding Function and Variable in Mathematica for beginner [closed]

I'm reading the book of Leonid Shifrin, and I love the way the book explains the core in Mathematica. As everything is an expression, now I understand that, there ...
5
votes
4answers
316 views

Is there any way to assign multiple values?

I am looking for something like "byref" assignment in programming languages. Let's assume I have: x1=x2=....=xn if I want to change their values ( say to 3 ) I need to set all of them like: ...
5
votes
3answers
143 views

Assign output of solve to variables [duplicate]

I have this input: Solve[x^2 + 3 x + 2 == 0, x] which gives this output: {{x -> -2}, {x -> -1}} I want the first x ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Edit built in symbol

I would like to add new attributes to built in symbols (e.g. ElementData or PolyhedraData) so that I can still call the symbol ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

Assign variables automatically to a function

Lets consider that I've this function: fn = a*x^2 + b*x + c; The idea here is to assign automatically the variables a, ...
4
votes
2answers
110 views

Choosing an initializer list in With

I'm trying to have several initializer lists in a With function and choose which one I want to use. So far I have this: ...
4
votes
2answers
675 views

How to store value in a For loop

I am using two For loops. When the inner loop finishes, I don't want to print but I want to store the result from the inner loop in some variable so that I can call ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

why set values in this way doesn't work?

question is as follows define a list ttt={1,2}; and if I set values in this way {ttt[[1]],ttt[[2]]}={3,4} then the value ...
4
votes
3answers
393 views

Delayed evaluation of assignment

I have a set of PDE's that depend on parameters. They depend on many parameters, but for simplicity we can here assume that they depend only on one, say a. I want ...
4
votes
3answers
127 views

Altering values in Manipulate with dynamically generated controls

I have a Manipulate whose controls are generated based on a parameter in a containing Manipulate: ...
3
votes
2answers
243 views

How to copy a function by value?

I need to change a function symbol multiple times by assigning another symbol to it, but when I'm trying to do that the symbols overwrite each other. I'm assuming this is because the assignment is by ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

Using a variable to tell Mathematica which existing variable to manipulate

I have an estimation routine I have coded up, I want now to do some tests on it where I pick a particular parameter and run the estimation for differing values of that parameter. What I want is to be ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Syntax Coloring for “Possible Unwanted Assignment” Issue

Apparently Mathematica's syntax coloring engine believes that the second assignment in the following code excerpt (concocted for illustration purposes only) is a "Possible Unwanted Assignment" since ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Set promotes Rule to RuleDelayed?

In mentally building a model of how Mathematica works, I naively expected Set to create a Rule in a symbol's ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Replacing multiple instances of a symbol with different variables and assignments

I have an expression of the form: expr=x+y+n+Sin[n]+n^2 I would like to replace each of the variables n with a different ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Can I put subscripted parameter values into a package?

When defining packages, can I put parameter values alone or along with functions into a package in subscripted form? ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Bare symbol invocation fails but not if used with an argument

How to achieve the following behavior on a symbol f? Background: The main goal is to use the symbol to tag an abstract data structure where downvalues are used to store information. Only defined ...
3
votes
1answer
455 views

Integral of Lorentzian yields different results depending on when parameter assigments are made

I'm evaluating the integral of a Lorentzian, which I know equals one. First I define the function and evaluate the integral in two slightly different ways. Surprisingly, I do not get the right answer ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

How to get Symbol[“x”]=3 to work [duplicate]

This is probably a really simple one, but I'm stumped. I want Symbol["x"]=3 to work just like x=3. However I can't figure out ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Assign one button to two variables

I am trying to use the one button to assign to two variables. Here is an example of how I want it to work. expression: ...