Questions on the basic structure of the Mathematica language (Wolfram language) including atomic data types, syntax etc

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18
votes
2answers
1k views

Scan vs. Map vs. Apply

I cannot understand the difference between Apply, Scan, and Map. I have tried to play with ...
47
votes
1answer
1k views

Incompatible Changes since Mathematica Version 7?

There is documentation of the incompatible changes made to Mathematica with each major release: Incompatible Changes since Mathematica Version 1 Unfortunately that documentation simply stopped ...
21
votes
1answer
510 views

Shorter syntax for Fold and FoldList?

I find it tedious to write out the following: a = {1, 2, 3, 4}; Fold[f, First @ a, Rest @ a] f[f[f[1, 2], 3], 4] It ...
34
votes
2answers
919 views

Why is the new PositionIndex horribly slow?

This issue has largely been mitigated in 10.0.1. New timings for the final test below are: ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

What does # mean in Mathematica?

I asked Mathematica to compute the following Solve[c (1-x)^2-x^(1/4) == 0, x] and it returned this: x = Root[#1^8 c^4 - 8 #1^7 c^4 + 28 #1^6 c^4 - 56 #1^5 ...
16
votes
3answers
377 views

What does None mean in a control specification for Manipulate?

I am now struggling to understand code that contains the following (simplified) Manipulate structure. ...
4
votes
1answer
732 views

Behavior of expression evaluation in Plot

I'm confused with Mathematica's way of parsing expressions. I've been struggling with this for a while and never found an exhaustive answer, sometimes things don't parse the way I think they would ...
82
votes
3answers
3k views

How to make use of Associations?

I have been curious about it for long. Now that Mathematica 10 arrives, I think it's time to ask the question: How the new Association data structure would be used ...
5
votes
4answers
842 views

How to completely delete the head of a function expression

Is there any way to completely remove the head of an expression function? For example, how would I remove the head Cos from ...
49
votes
3answers
3k views

Is Mathematica an Implementation of the Wolfram Language?

I am trying to figure out what the announcement of the Wolfram Language means for Mathematica. Is Mathematica an implementation of the Wolfram Language, or is it something else?
27
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Mathematica comparable to C++ for creating standalone applications?

At my university, I have a yearly essay. I'm allowed to use any technology for implementing it. I've been coding it in C++ with Qt. I thought of about Wolfram Mathematica because I have some ...
28
votes
2answers
849 views

Is there a name for #1@#2&?

Why does the pure function # @ #2 & have no name? I'm asking because sometimes I find inelegant to write expressions like ...
23
votes
2answers
502 views

Why is Query so much slower than Part?

Time for another of these(1),(2) as yet another new-in-10 function appears to have poor performance compared to older alternatives. This time: Query appears to be ...
14
votes
2answers
362 views

Can't get Append to append a record (association) to a dataset

The Documentation Center item, Computation with Structured Datasets, implies that Append has been extended in V10 to work with datasets. But not on my computer. (I ...
14
votes
3answers
381 views

Make mathematica treat $e_i^2$ as numeric

With NumericQ[symbol] = True, I can declare that a symbol is numeric. I want the expressions matching: $$e_{\text{i$\_$}?\text{IntegerQ}}^2$$ to be treated as ...
12
votes
2answers
247 views

How to restore function attributes to default

Adding an attribute to a function is easy and clearing attribute is easy also. But I don't know really how to restore the attributes of a function to its defaults. All I do is quit the kernel or close ...
10
votes
3answers
177 views

How do I make a string literal without having to escape backslashes?

I'd like to say something like: foo = @"\abc\def\ghi" instead of foo = "\\abc\\def\\ghi" How do I do this? This would ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Why can't a string be formed by head String?

Since everything is an expression in Mathematica, why must a string object be formed by "abc" but not by a String[abc] ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

Treat all variables as local in a module [duplicate]

In most languages, any variable defined inside a function is considered local. ...
13
votes
1answer
330 views

Is everything in Mathematica ultimately stored as a rule?

My current understanding about Mathematica is that everything, at the lowest level, ends up as replacement rules. First question: is this true? Second question: does Mathematica "gloss over" these ...
10
votes
5answers
555 views

Postfix Double Slash Notation with Multiple Parameters [duplicate]

Examples A convenient shorthand that I use frequently is the "double slash" notation to string commands together. For example, I can write: ...
5
votes
1answer
378 views

Proper use of arbitrary number of variables

So, I'm working on a project where the number of independent variables is not fixed. Consider a problem of $N$ independent variables, $\boldsymbol{r}$. I want to perform different things with them. ...
14
votes
1answer
210 views

Why won't SparseArray let me store values with the head List?

When you attempt to define a SparseArray with elements that have the head List it complains: ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

ControlType -> None Vs. Module inside Manipulate (i.e. making everything local)

I'm building a program on another one made available in the Wolfram Demonstration Project. I've noticed that in the original code (working flawlessly) many variables were made local inside the ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

How to assign symbols to functions

Several functions work with symbols in MMA: Take for example Part: l1=l2=Range[4]; l1[[3]] (*3*) l2[[4]] (*4*) I want to make ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

How to construct a linear feedback shift register

Are there any posts regarding the construction of a LFSR (Linear Feedback Shift Register) in Mathematica? I can't seem to find any and I am not sure how I would construct one.
14
votes
3answers
193 views

What does `: Hold[$IterationLimit]` mean?

In this answer, what does the : Hold[$IterationLimit] part of the following construct do? ...
19
votes
1answer
355 views

Why some built-in functions are slow

I just wonder why some built-in functions are slower compared to some other ways using more than one built-in functions for doing same job. consider this example: ...
14
votes
3answers
212 views

How do I understand ListCorrelate(contains $\{k_L,k_R\}$) when it works for 2-dimentional data?

Two months ago, I asked a question here And @nikie give me a solution: The intuitive way to understand ListCorrelate is that the kernel is "moved" to every ...
21
votes
3answers
526 views

Real Numbers in the Wolfram Language

Epilog: Much of the discussion in the answers below revolves around the distinction between Real as a data type and real numbers as a domain or class of numbers (irrespective of the form in which ...
16
votes
1answer
181 views

A bug in the overloading of MemberQ and FreeQ for Association?

Bug introduced in 10.0.0 and fixed in 10.1.0. While answering Pattern match for nested Association I came across behavior of MemberQ and ...
20
votes
1answer
666 views

Using Transpose with a list as the second argument

I'm having difficulty understanding the Transpose function. I know what the transpose of a matrix is, not a problem, and I see that applying the ...
17
votes
1answer
150 views

Help understanding overloading of Atomics within Block

Usually h @@@ {f[1, 2], f[3, 4]} === {h[1, 2], h[3, 4]} but this is not the case when f is ...
14
votes
2answers
435 views

I define a variable as local to a module BUT then the module uses its global value! Why?

I have a question about modules and local variables. Here's my example: h = 5; Module[{a, h}, a[h_]= h^2; a[4]] (*Out[2] = 25*) I expected the module to ...
10
votes
2answers
346 views

When must I use the Return function?

In a comment to my answer to this question, QuantumDot asks, "Where can I find more information on when I must use the 'Return' function?". I found this too deep a question to be answered by leaving a ...
12
votes
1answer
160 views

Is there a way to control which special forms Normal converts?

Normal documentation reads: Normal[expr] converts expr to a normal expression, from a variety of special forms. But is there a way to control which special ...
10
votes
1answer
365 views

How to visualize pattern matching process?

I want a function that does the same job like ReplaceRepeated, and can make the matching process visible. I searched the Internet but didn't find any existing code ...
8
votes
1answer
318 views

Find a word's linguistic pronunciation

Is there a way to get a word's linguistic pronunciation given the word as a string? I would like a function LingusticPronunciation such that, for example, ...
4
votes
3answers
234 views

Manipulate: How to create custom reset Button automatically?

I have a complex Manipulate with more than 10 controls. Each one has its own default value. I'd like to add a custom button in the control area to reset all ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Multiple down-values with exactly the same lefthand side

I was working on an answer to this question, when I was sidetracked by what I bring up here. I wanted a function, which when given a string representing a binary number, would convert the string to a ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

How to Override the Head of a Symbol

I was wondering if it is possible to override the head of symbols/operators. As a motivating example if I run: Then Ket will be returned. But lets say I want Bob to be returned instead of Ket. Is ...
14
votes
1answer
225 views

What's wrong with Simplify and FullSimplify?

I have a quite complex list of equations and inequalities I combine to a boundary condition for my cost function. After investigation of two days I found the bug (I really name it a bug!). One of my ...
10
votes
0answers
288 views

Create a new infix operator [duplicate]

It is well known that the infix operator @@ is used as a short form of Apply. For example, both ...
7
votes
3answers
301 views

Implementing key-value associations in Mathematica 9 with inexact numbers for keys

I'm not sure of what type of problem my issue falls into, so I haven't been able to search forums with any success. If this has already been solved then my apologies! Essentially I'm trying to set a ...
5
votes
4answers
199 views

Signed power set of a list

Given {a, b, c, ...} with $n$ elements generate a list with $2^n$ elements. For example, if the list were {a, b, c}, then the ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

What is the relationship between Thread and MapThread

I hope this is not a silly question, since there are plenty of questions on Thread and MapThread. However, I still cannot quite ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

Is there the full Wolfram Language in Mathematica?

Today I read the new entry on WolframBlog with all it's nice little demos. I was realy interested in those with astronomic informations, but trying these with my own Mathematica I was irritated: ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

What is the fastest way to get a list of subexpressions and their positions?

I have spent quite some time trying to figure out what the fastest way is to get a list lists of all subexpressions and their positions. I have tried things with MapIndexed, which seems ideal in cases ...
2
votes
3answers
122 views

Computing a sequence by recurrence

I am trying to create a list where each element of the list is calculated using the sum of all previous elements of the list and also uses the $N$th element of another list. The initial value of the ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

Dynamic graph construction and visualization (Watts' “Small Worlds” α-model)

I need some help in creating a Mathematica program for building and visualizing Watts' "Small Worlds" α-model. This is a variant of the more known (and much more simple) β-model (also known as ...