Questions on writing non-trivial programs in Mathematica. Do not use this tag for questions on plotting/graphics or for questions on doing mathematics with Mathematica, where the focus is more on the math than the program.

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19
votes
2answers
970 views

Schedule programing problem with integer linear programming

I know how to model this question on paper, but I don't know how doing it in Mathematica. Imagine , there is a university student who want to choose courses for this semester and he got the ...
19
votes
1answer
839 views

What is the proper method to load a Mathematica package inside a DynamicModule

I have a DynamicModule that requires loading of Mathematica packages. The usual methods do not seem to apply (...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Find the minima and maxima of a list

I have a list, such as: ...
18
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How to speed up my Project Euler code

The evaluation speed of Mathematica often depresses me. It did it again when I wrote a code to solve a Project Euler problem. https://projecteuler.net/problem=206 Here's my code: ...
18
votes
4answers
435 views

How to keep some of the results of the NestList

I'm using some iterative arithmetics to calculate wave propagation with the help of NestList. I have to use a small step size for iteration to guarantee the accuracy, which lead to too much data (e.g, ...
18
votes
3answers
892 views

1D Random Walk variant

I am making a notebook that is a variation to the traditional 1d random walk problem. The normal 1D random walk can be simulated easily by ...
18
votes
2answers
740 views

Efficient priority queues?

I'm trying to figure out how to transfer the concept of a priority queue to the functional world. Searches have turned up some implementations that use Append and other expense list copying ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I automatically evaluate a cell when a notebook is opened?

I'm trying to put together a GUI in Mathematica and need to evaluate one cell to kick that off. Is there a way to automatically evaluate that cell when the notebook is opened? Here is an example of ...
18
votes
1answer
704 views

List manipulation to build a functional expression

Since Mathematica deals with Head[a, b] as an expression in this way The first Part of Head[a, b] is ...
17
votes
12answers
2k views

Pick elements of largest absolute value

For example, given list = {{1, -3, -5}, {2, 1, 6}, {0, 2, 4}, {-9, 2, 6}} should return: {-5, 6, 4, -9} Updated I found ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

How to monitor the progress of Map?

I have a function doSomethingComplicated[...] that takes about 10s on average to evaluate. My list, listOfArgs has about 10000 ...
17
votes
2answers
471 views

When should I, and when should I not, set the HoldAll attribute on a function I define?

I have seen a number of examples on this site (such as in syntax highlighting and checking evaluation status) in which functions definitions are preceded with ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Elegant manipulation of the variables list

I have a list of global variables (some of them are indexed variables), for example: varsH = Hold[U0[1], U0[2], B0, V0[1], V0[2]] Or (if it is easier to handle) ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Effective matrix power like algorithm

First example Suppose you want to calculate the 6th power of some matrix $A$. The brute force attempt of doing this is considering $$(((AA)A)A)A)A$$ which requires a total of 5 matrix ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Open Excel file with Mathematica

I would like to open an Excel file and manipulate it as a COM object. While I'm able to open an instance of excel with ...
17
votes
2answers
415 views

Count number of sublists with a total not greater than a given max

Suppose I have a list of positive integers: data={1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 12, 16, 23} I want to count the number of subsets up to ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get exactly 5 logarithmic divisions of an interval?

I'd like to get exactly 5 divisions from x to y on a log scale. Can FindDivisions do this?
16
votes
5answers
933 views

Is this the most efficient way to round approximate integers to integers while leaving other Reals untouched?

This might seem like an overly simple question, but I need to specify custom plot tick marks as integers (no trailing decimal point) if they are approximately integers, but not if they are not. Using ...
16
votes
5answers
802 views

How do I generate the upper triangular indices from a list?

I have some list {1,2,3}. How do I generate nested pairs such that I get {{1,2},{1,3},{2,3}}? That is I'd like a way to ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is learning to use Mathematica useful for pure theoretical research in Mathematics and Computer Science?

I am looking for opinions from Mathematica users about Mathematica itself. After reading the faq, I thought that in some sense I "wish to solve a problem using Mathematica" ... although I understand ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Use Mathematica as a terminal

I love how notebooks work in Mathematica. You can edit code in real time and hit Ctrl+Shift to run it. Additionally you copy and paste different cells around to organize and test ideas. Search ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Reading from STDIN, or: how to pipe data into Mathematica

Today I tried using Mathematica's plotting capabilities to display the output of a C++ program. This made me wonder whether it is possible to somehow tell a Mathematica script to read from STDIN and ...
16
votes
1answer
511 views

Importing Zip files

Mathematica can import zipped files automatically, but when the content of the zip file it's another zipped file, I just get the list of files in the second zip: ...
16
votes
1answer
402 views

Are there advantages to using additional arguments of common functions rather than alternative ways of calculating with lists?

(Apologies for the long question title.) One of the interesting, if sometimes confusing, things about Mathematica is that there is always more than one way to do things. Even intermediate users can ...
16
votes
1answer
356 views

Why does this line increase the consumed memory?

Probably this is a simple question, however I really don't understand this behavior in Mathematica. It particularly leads to a memory leak in a huge program I have to do processing of 3D images. I ...
16
votes
2answers
577 views

Generating Gelfand-Tsetlin patterns

I am doing some research on some combinatorial object called GT-patterns. They are generated from three parts of data. Two integer, partitions (sequences of weakly decreasing numbers), $\lambda = ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Lexicographic ordering of strings in Mathematica

I recently realized that Mathematica seems incapable of comparing strings in the "normal" expected lexicographic order. Indeed, for some simulations, I need to process text directly, without fiddling ...
16
votes
1answer
375 views

Is pure pattern matching without PatternTest and Condition Turing-complete?

Note that this question is not a duplicate of that one. It is specifically about the pattern-matching engine, and explicitly excluding those patterns which call back into the full evaluation (i.e. ...
16
votes
2answers
506 views

Distributing PlusMinus consistently

I would like to give the built-in function PlusMinus, which is undefined by default, the intuitive meaning: considering all possible combinations of $+$ and $-$. ...
15
votes
9answers
617 views

Any built-in function to generate successive sublists from a list?

Given lst = {a, b, c, d} I'd like to generate {{a}, {a, b}, {a, b, c}, {a, b, c, d}} but using built-in functions only, ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What is Mathematica's equivalent to MATLAB's filter function?

The MATLAB code filter(0.5,[1, -0.5], [1:10]) is equivalent to Rest@FoldList[(#1 + #2)/2. &, 0, Range[10]] I don't ...
15
votes
5answers
715 views

Mathematica quine

A quine is a computer program which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output. There are many trivial quines in Mathematica: ...
15
votes
3answers
716 views

Custom functions by delegating options in a specific way and using core functions

I'd like to create a custom function that does essentially the same as a core function of mathematica but uses different default settings. Example: I want a Plot function that uses Mathematica's core ...
15
votes
3answers
612 views

Comparing Mathematica expressions like diff

I am looking for a way to compare (or "diff") two Mathematica expressions, similarly to how to diff utility can compare two text files and report the differences. Has anyone already written such a ...
15
votes
2answers
759 views

Need help coding/creating a recursive list

I have two lists A and B, each with 99 real numbers. I want to form a list, C, whose ...
15
votes
1answer
445 views

Is it possible to use Begin and End inside a Manipulate?

May be someone can explain why I can't use Begin["context`"] and End[] inside a Manipulate ...
15
votes
3answers
407 views

Notebook vs. DocumentNotebook; display a Notebook inline, like a DocumentNotebook

If you evaluate a DocumentNotebook[] expression in the front-end, it nicely displays inline, inside of an output cell in the current notebook: For my purposes, ...
15
votes
1answer
291 views

Are formal characters like \[FormalA] to be used differently than other symbols?

I noticed that Mathematica has a set of special 'Formal' characters such as \[FormalA], \[FormalB] , etc.. In the front end, it ...
15
votes
1answer
360 views

Modules that initialize themselves on first call

I use a lot of functions that extract a specific data item from a file with many data items. I want these functions to load data (slow) and return the item (fast) on first call, but just return the ...
15
votes
1answer
407 views

Is the sharing of variables in Module/Block within Compile documented behavior?

Today I noticed something, I think for the first time. When used inside Compile variable values within Module (and ...
15
votes
1answer
308 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? ...
15
votes
2answers
476 views

How to generate a closed B-spline curve?

I wrote a function called deBoor using the Cox-de Boor algorithm to generate a B-spline curve. ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Mathematica a Turing-complete language?

Is Mathematica a Turing-complete language? If so, how can that be proved? If not, why?
14
votes
6answers
845 views

How to correct my code for solving the Josephus problem?

Problem Decription Recently, I have been reading the book Schaum's Outline of Mathematica (2nd Edition), where I encounted the problem: Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian of the first ...
14
votes
4answers
909 views

Implementing a function which generalizes the merging step in merge sort

One of the key steps in merge sort is the merging step. Given two sorted lists sorted1={2,6,10,13,16,17,19}; sorted2={1,3,4,5,7,8,9,11,12,14,15,18,20}; of ...
14
votes
3answers
901 views

Mathematica usage (success stories) for financial back-ends

I've been working for about 5 years in Java, developing financial back-offices (web-services, business logic, report generation etc.). I think Mathematica is very suitable for such calculations and ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a Mathematica/Lisp link?

I'd like to start learning Lisp as it sometimes leads to interesting answers on this site with concepts borrowed from this language, so I'm curious. As I already spend most of my programming time in ...
14
votes
3answers
740 views

How can I improve my code for drawing a tree?

This code draws a tree, but it's not in the functional style. ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Programmatically generate packages from notebook files?

Currently, there are two ways I know of to generate a package (.m) file from a notebook file; one is to set the AutoGeneratedPackage option in the Option Inspector, ...