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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6
votes
3answers
2k 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
2answers
460 views

What does (0 &) mean in an evaluation? [closed]

My Mathematica code is this: Simplify[D[Sqrt[1 + (u')^2 + (-60 x - 20 u u')^2], u]] It returns this: ...
6
votes
3answers
355 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
2answers
134 views

Ignore some values at return

Is there Mathematica analogue of Python _ (underscore) or Matlab ~, a special variable, that can be used when a function returns ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

Why is Reap result nested?

A minimal (toy) example for my question: i= 1; Reap[Do[Sow[i = (i + 1)^2], {4}]] (* {Null, {{4, 25, 676, 458329}}} *) I presume the entire result is a ...
6
votes
1answer
190 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
115 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
113 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
119 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
98 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
164 views

Problem overloading D[] using UpValues

First I define an entry of UpValues overloading D[] for expressions with head ftest: ...
6
votes
1answer
84 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
72 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
113 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
3answers
601 views

Can symbols like + or * be used to denote the Plus and Times functions?

Can one do something similar to +[1, 2]? The point is that with one symbol you would be able to write expressions like ...
5
votes
4answers
323 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
245 views

How to imitate list comprehensions for constant arrays?

In Python, ['a'] * 10 generates ['a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a', 'a'] and ...
5
votes
5answers
204 views

Nested function with an increasing argument

If, for example, I have a nesting function like Nest[1 + x^n (#) &, 1, 3] it gives the result ...
5
votes
3answers
245 views

Is it possible to make the Button execute two or more actions?

According to the help: Button[label,action] Is it possible to make the button execute two actions?
5
votes
4answers
327 views

Long list of similar rules

Given the following: ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

Overlapping pure functions

Let say I need and option for Plot: RegionFunction -> (-6 < #2 < 6 &) But I also want those ...
5
votes
3answers
434 views

What is the right way to write a function that includes other functions?

I want to include multiple sub functions: $b(x) = 10x$ $w(x) = s + b(x)$ $c(x) = x^2$ into two main functions: $ua(x) = w(x)-c(x)$ $ub(x) = w(x)-c(x)^2$ As a reaction to this answer, I wrote ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Syntax highlighting conflict

I'm trying to syntax highlight this expression: x=$\sqrt{\pi }$//N and from various sources I've learned that x (the assigned symbol) belongs to context Global while the Pi and N belongs to System. So ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

How to Write Partition with Infix?

The documentation says that using Infix ~, the following input f[e1,e2,e3,...] can be rewritten as ...
5
votes
2answers
280 views

f /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ matrix

How can one write f /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ # & /@ matrix in one line with arbitrary level and without using ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Associativity of `/@` [duplicate]

Why are the following not equivalent: Map[Line, Map[(Print[#]; #) &, {{{2, 1}, {1, 1}}, {{-2, 1}, {3, 1}}}]] which produces ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

Can someone explain this code for joining two lists by the first element of each sublist?

Background (which may be skipped, unless context is needed) I've recently begun learning Mathematica (and only up to chapter 3 of Wellin), but wanted to write some code to get a better feel for ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Why does the Front End group backslashes into pairs?

What is \\ for? Help finds nothing on it. An odd number of backslashes greater than one are grouped by two and the last one is displayed with a different color. ...
5
votes
4answers
277 views

Defining a function with parameters as variables

I have an expression V = (a[1] + a[2])b[1]. How would I define a function of a[1], a[2] and ...
5
votes
2answers
539 views

Scalar product operator of complex vectors

What is the scalar product operator for complex vectors (or matrices) in Mathematica? The usual $Dot[]$ doesn't work. E.g. here is what the Mathematica gives $$\{1,0\}.\{I,0\}=I$$ but the answer ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Why are SetProperty and PropertyValue not working here?

I have a very simple graph, a loop: ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Syntax for FrontEnd`SelectionSetStyle

I know FrontEnd`SelectionSetStyle is undocumented, but its name suggests it does what I need. What is its syntax? I have already tried several variations of the ...
5
votes
1answer
346 views

How to convert an image to a compressed string representation equivalent to one copied to clipboard by `CopyToClipboard[image]`?

In my recent question I asked How to embed an image into a string? The suggested solution was ...
4
votes
2answers
849 views

Single dot textual form

How do I render a letter with a single dot above it? I see \[DoubleDot] and \[TripleDot] are readily available, but what about ...
4
votes
2answers
584 views

Write a function that returns the logarithmic derivative

How can we write a function that if we input an expression f, it returns the log derivative $\frac{1}{f} \frac{df}{dx}$. We have to use a conditional or pattern test so that the function accepts any ...
4
votes
2answers
412 views

List reversion inspired by Python

In python, if you wish to reverse a list, here is the trick: range(10)[::-1] => [9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0] Note: ...
4
votes
4answers
230 views

Get Axes Range of Plot?

Say I have some plot plot = Plot[Sin[x], {x,0,10}] (*as an example*) Is there a way I can get the x and y axes min/max values from the "plot" variable? If I ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Sorting and keeping the main format of list numbers [duplicate]

I have a list with these elements: list={1/2 (1 + Sqrt[5]), 1, 1, 1/2 (1 - Sqrt[5]), 0}; I want to sort them with ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

How can I avoid getting the error message Goto::nolabel in my code?

If anyone could suggest a reason why Label[begin] ... Goto[begin] would return Hold[Goto[Begin]], and (better) how can I avoid ...
4
votes
3answers
376 views

Brackets in output make unable to use output to identify matrix element

I'm trying to write a code where each matrix element swaps with a randomly selected neighbor (cardinal directions only) to redistribute the matrix. So far I've been able to replace an element with its ...
4
votes
2answers
276 views

How to define the irrational domain or any other arbitrary domain?

I have found no way to define the domain of Irrational numbers. I can easily define a test to see if a number is irrational by defining: ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Why assign variables to empty curly brackets?

I am trying to read code and I see empty curly brackets. For example: abc = {} or ...
4
votes
3answers
925 views

Integrating with multiple indicator functions

I am trying to calculate an integral involving multiple indicator functions, such as: $$ h(u,v,w) = -\int_0^1 J^{\prime\prime}(s) (I_{(0,s]}(u) - s)(I_{(0,s]}(v) - s)(I_{(0,s]}(w) - s)\, ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

How to see abstract syntax tree of Wolfram Language expression

I mean, suppose I have this expression: 2 + 2 I want to get something like this: Plus[2, 2] as an output. I've tried FullForm, but this just evaluates 2+2 and returns 4. Is this even possible?
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Dot when used in a pattern becomes Times… Why?

In[1] := Hold[a.b] // FullForm Out[1] := Hold[Dot[a,b]] So far so good. ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

How can I compare the previous value and the current value implemented during NestWhileList?

I am trying to write a part of my code. I am using NestWhileList. However, I couldn't find out the right syntax for testing. It should compare previous result and current result and continue if it is ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Setting a binary operator Flat

I defined a binary operator in as the first statement in a new Mathematica notebook. {x1_, y1_} ⊕ {x2_, y2_} := Module[{}, Print["do anything"];] where the code ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

How to define UpValues of NBSpline when the length of argument is unknown?

I mimic the built-in BSplineBasis[] to build a user-defined function NBSpline[], Namely, ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

Why can't I pass in a product of matrices in my modified matrixform? [duplicate]

In attempt to build a function that would work like MatrixForm but would wrap a matrix with brackets, I tried the following function: ...