For questions regarding the underlying implementation of built-in functions.

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4
votes
2answers
331 views

Implementation of builtin function Fold

In the documentation for fold, it says Fold[f,x,list] gives the last element of FoldList[f,x,list]. But this is surely not the way it is implemented, right? ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

How does RootOfUnityQ work?

How does Mathematica's RootOfUnityQ function work? That is, how does Mathematica know if a number is a root of unity? Example: Let $x = \frac{1-i \sqrt{2+\sqrt{5}}}{1+i \sqrt{2+\sqrt{5}}}$. Then ...
3
votes
2answers
226 views

What does MinimalPolynomial do?

suppose $x^5-x-1=0$, $y^7-y-1=0$ and $z=x+y$. I want to find a minimal polynomial expression of $z$, such that $p(z)=0$, and the code can be written like this: ...
16
votes
1answer
419 views

What does “suitable for symbolic manipulation” in the documentation mean?

This question is related to this other one I posted on Stack Overflow some time ago. There, in a beautiful answer, acl (with some unhumble editing done by me) showed that the derivative of ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Mathematica integrate?

Basically, this question can be considered to be an extenstion to my other question. What I wanted to do was this integral as homework (it is indefinite BTW so no approximations using Simpson's Rule ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Can we know the background code associated with basic mathematica functions

I wanted to know how computers calculate basic functions like Sqrt so first I checked how humans do it I found that they use something called "Newton's method" that ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

How does Interpolation really work?

I'm looking for some explanation or advice, not help in solving something. Recently I finished my program and my supervisor said "Ok, now it's time for your first paper: write a scientific text about ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What method does NDSolve use for solving PDEs?

What is NDSolve's mode of operation? I use it to solve partial differential equations and never gave it too much thought. Recently, I came across this question. ...
57
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the most convenient way to read definitions of in-memory symbols when we don't have the source files? (Spelunking tools)

Note: I put Simon's implementation on GitHub. Contributions welcome! When trying to read the definition of already defined (package or built-in) symbols using ...
28
votes
1answer
644 views

How are MemberQ and FreeQ so fast?

I would like to understand the implementation that allows MemberQ and FreeQ to be as fast as they are. I noticed this thanks to ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

How to check for Mathematica’s definition of XY?

The question is: Can I ask the Mathematica kernel directly what it takes as the definition of the built-in symbol XY? After all this has to be in the kernel. And if the documentation is not giving any ...
38
votes
3answers
3k views

How to find out which method Mathematica selected?

There are commands like NonlinearModelFit[] or NDSolve[] that have the option Method it ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

How does Plot work?

I considered the following function: sin[x_] := Module[{}, Print["x=", x]; Sin[x] ] in Mathematica. Next, I tried to plot it using: ...
10
votes
2answers
686 views

How does Mathematica determine that an evaluation should be terminated?

How exactly does Mathematica determine that evaluation of particular expression should be finished and the result should be returned? Here are some examples of unclear behavior which have arisen, ...