Questions on correct (or improved) formulation of Mathematica code to achieve particular results. Use this tag (not "symbol") for questions about all those odd @@ /@ # & and ~ characters.

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10
votes
3answers
344 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
639 views

Explain a Mathematica winning one-liner

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10
votes
1answer
677 views

What is the difference between prefix/postfix notations and map?

I am new to Mathematica and just experimenting with the different programming constructs. I have been looking at Map and how to evaluate a function for a list of ...
10
votes
2answers
104 views

Functions in a different context are replaced with infix forms of their namesake in System`

So, in an attempt to help out Fabian with his question, I did what I often do, and created a new symbol in the Pillsy` package that I could play with. Since it was ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Notation of partial derivative

I want to write partial derivatives of functions with many arguments. Why is it that when I type f[x,y] ctrl+6 (0,1) it turns out to be bad syntax? The output of ...
9
votes
1answer
925 views

Coding mistake? [closed]

I have just started using Mathematica with v9.0. I am trying to follow a computation from a book on Fourier series with the function $f(x)=x$ on the interval $-\pi < x < \pi$. Here is the code ...
9
votes
1answer
166 views

Accept Infinity as an Integer argument

I have the following function, albeit contrived: Foo[x_Integer] := Module[{i}, i = 1; While[i <= x && i <= 10, i++]; i - 1 ]; I am ...
9
votes
2answers
981 views

Flatten at a certain level

In an earlier question the brainteasing fourth syntax variant of Flatten was discussed. I see that with ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Using D to find a symbolic derivative

I need to do the following: Define a function Take the derivative of this function and have a look at the symoblic representation Substitute in some values With the bonus that I want to use the ...
8
votes
4answers
664 views

Error when using rule as a list index - { i, x[[i]] } /. i -> 5

I can't seem to use a rule to index a vector. x = Range[10]; { i, x[[i]] } /. i -> 5 I get the following error when evaluating the above code, even if the ...
8
votes
5answers
821 views

can the color in MeshStyle be specified by a ColorFunction, such as “SunsetColors” for example. If so, what is the correct syntax?

This is an example given in Help: Plot3D[Sin[x y], {x, 0, 3}, {y, 0, 3}, MeshStyle -> Gray] Could this be changed to something like ...
8
votes
3answers
473 views

how to read in a file in the same directory?

Now I am writing a small package. I have written several files and put them in the same directory. And some files need to read in or include another file in the same directory. But when I simply write ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to reverse the direction of the y axes

I have a similar question to this one. Unfortunately, the answers there didn't help me. I would like to plot a simple function with the normal Plot function. ...
8
votes
2answers
280 views

Cases[data,Colon[key,_]] vs. Cases[data,key:_] toward XPath, XQuery

Exploring methods to index and search tree-structured key:value pairs via named-entity index (key paths) as opposed to Position-based indexing. Using Rule as ...
8
votes
3answers
689 views

What is the right way to construct DynamicModule

When I'm creating DynamicModules for CDF purposes I'm usualy basing on my experience with that, particular goal and content rather than on deep insight. I want to ...
8
votes
1answer
429 views

Setting the DifferenceOrder Option

I've been playing around with Method in NDSolve[...] and can't quite seem to figure out how to force ...
8
votes
1answer
111 views

Does the syntax coloring I see indicate a real problem?

I need a behaviour provided by: x = 2; Block[{x = HoldForm[x]}, x] x FrontEnd marks ...
8
votes
1answer
160 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] ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Extract what symbol is set by SetDelayed, Set, TagSet, UpSet, SetAttributes, etc

One of the recent features of the Mathematica Plugin for IntelliJ IDEA (www.mathematicaplugin.halirutan.de) is a Structure View which let's you see information about several definitions that are done ...
7
votes
5answers
356 views

Is it possible to insert arguments into functions when they're used like Function@ or //Function?

Is it possible to insert arguments into functions when they're used like Function@ or //Function? Sometimes I need to do this, but then I have to return to the standard function usage: Function[] ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Mapping multiple parameters of a function to specific values

I am a little bit confused by the documentation for Apply (@@). I want to define a list of parameters, for instance: ...
7
votes
2answers
247 views

Internal Representation of ?name and ??name

Code FullForm[Hold[?name]] Syntax::bktmcp: Expression "Hold[?name]]" has no closing "]". Syntax::sntxi: Incomplete expression; more input is needed . Question ...
7
votes
3answers
322 views

Why can't D[] be used in place here? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: General::ivar is not a valid variable when plotting - what actually causes this and how to avoid it? Beginner question: Why can't I use ...
7
votes
2answers
312 views

What's the purpose of the Unique function?

As the title says: What's the purpose of Unique? I understand that it generates some unique symbol, but when and for what is it to be used? Are there applications ...
7
votes
2answers
184 views

“A number in base b” and pure functions: why doesn't b^^# & work?

Why do the following not work (in Mathematica 7)? 2^^ # & /@ {1000, 1101} and 2^^ # & @ 1101 This does work: ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

How can I specify a numerical order for variables?

I need to specify that a variable is less than another, and greater than yet another, in a Mathematica program, because I will later apply a test to them that will determine what functional form to ...
7
votes
2answers
412 views
7
votes
1answer
261 views

Treat all variables as local in a module [duplicate]

In most languages, any variable defined inside a function is considered local. ...
7
votes
0answers
147 views

What is a good way to code long, complex, compilable algorithms?

The functional paradigm of the Wolfram Language used in Mathematica is all around wonderful. For intense numerics, Mathematica comes with the ability to Compile ...
6
votes
6answers
872 views

Can't comment strings with '*)' inside it

I believe it's a bug in notebook's comment parser. I can't comment strings with *) inside it. Something like: ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Keep function range as a variable

Plot[2*x^2 - x + 2, {x, -1, 1}] plots a function of x from -1 to 1. As far as I can see, I cannot "save" this range in a variable: ...
6
votes
3answers
299 views

Where did I go wrong with my implementation of the trapezoidal rule?

One method for doing quadrature, called the trapezoidal rule, improves accuracy by connecting the points on the curve corresponding to the points of subdivision with line segments, forming trapezoidal ...
6
votes
4answers
185 views

How to select only NotebookObjects that are referring to ordinary notebooks? (not palettes etc.)

There is of course function Notebooks[] But, unfortunatelly it hasn't got useful options in this context. My question is how to pick ...
6
votes
2answers
766 views

Evaluating an If condition to yield True/False

I would like to decide whether an option passed to my custom function has the value Automatic or something else. This is my attempt: ...
6
votes
3answers
302 views

Finding the square root of a squared number?

Taking the square root of the square of a number Variable set to a real value I'm wondering why these examples a = -4.3; Sqrt@a² Sqrt@(a^2) Sqrt[a^2] Sqrt[a²] ...
6
votes
1answer
510 views

What does ` symbol in ClearAll[“Global`*”] mean?

I have found an example for clearing all symbol definition by: ClearAll["Global`*"] But what does the symbol ` mean? It isn't the apostrophe ', yet it is not ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

How can I define a ⊕ operator?

What is wrong with the following code? CirclePlus := SparseArray[Band[{1, 1}] -> {##}] & a_ ⊕ b_ := CirclePlus[a, b] SetDelayed::write: Tag Function in ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Why can Format be used on the left side?

I am learning Mathematica in random order by reading its documentation. This approach is what I like most when learning new things. Consider the following 2 cases. Syntax A: ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Constructing a Summation with a Variable Number of Inner Sums

I have a question regarding multiple sums. And my second index depends on the first index. Here it is: $$ \sum_{d=1}^{P}e^{-d}\sum_{\substack{1\leq k_{1}\leq Q \\ 1\leq k_{2}\leq Q \\... ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

A question about two ways to use Default

Usually we define a function with default values by the syntax x_:default, but there is another technique to do this by registering a global default value with ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Why only up to two \[Prime] superscripts are interpreted as derivatives?

I noticed that only up to two \[Prime] superscripts are interpreted as derivatives. Is there a reason for this restriction? Is it documented? ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Where does Documentation Center introduce the basics?

While helping a user who mistakenly thought that log rather than Log was the correct built-in function name, I included a ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Problem overloading D[] using UpValues

First I define an entry of UpValues overloading D[] for expressions with head ftest: ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the role of _ in this expression?

I'm fairly familiar with basic Mathematica, but some of its more advanced syntax (especially certain special characters) eludes me. In the Scope section in the documentation of ...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Negative accuracy numerics ( 0``-128 notation )

What does it mean to have a negative accuracy number? I understand 0``128 to mean "the number zero to 128 decimal points". Mathematica corroborates this: ...
6
votes
0answers
111 views

Design considerations behind `O` (a.k.a. BigOh, a.k.a. Landau Order)

This works without any warnings: O[Log[x]]. This raises a warning: O[x^2]. I have a few questions around this: Why is it a ...
5
votes
4answers
314 views

Multiple colors in Graphics[] environment

There are other questions on the site that are similar to this one, but the answers provided didn't help me. I want to draw disks of different radii. Each radius is the absolute value of a variable, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Matrix Multiplication in context of row and column vectors

I've been looking at some matrices in Mathematica and I've noticed something very weird: They're extremely temperamental when it comes to dot products! For example, if I have the following, ...
5
votes
2answers
375 views

Splicing a list of arguments into a function with Sequence

Not sure if this has been asked, but I have a fairly simple operation that I don't know the syntax for. Say I have an array with some values, and a function f that accepts an arbitrary number of ...