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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2
votes
3answers
191 views

How do I interpret the following syntax?

I have been given some code with the following line PeriodicExtension[g_, x_] := If[Abs[x] < Pi, g[x], PeriodicExtension[g, x - 2 Sign[x] Pi]] I do not ...
7
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
319 views

Path queries for tree-structured data

Can anyone suggest documentation or tutorials for developing path queries and indices for (XML-like) tree-structured data? Suppose data is organized hierarchically in key->value pairs, eg: ...
6
votes
2answers
662 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: ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between Set and SetDelayed?

I have a problem with defining a function and most of time I get confused by Set or = and ...
10
votes
4answers
440 views

Extracting equations from Piecewise expressions

Say I have a PDF: PDF[LogNormalDistribution[1.75, 0.65], x] Calculating it, Mathematica gives me an expression that looks like this: I want to extract the ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does Mathematica use [[ ]] notation for array indexing?

I am confused by why Mathematica uses [[3]] to get the 3rd element, or [[i,j] to get the i,j-th element of a 2D array. This ...
7
votes
2answers
234 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
209 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?
1
vote
1answer
206 views

Can I use Table without the appropriate bounds?

I´d like to use the Table command without defining n, so that I can have a list of n ...
2
votes
3answers
640 views

Output of plots from within Do[ ] Command

I am wondering why the following does not plot the way it's written and exactly how does the Do[] function operate? I think I could be using it incorrectly. ...
15
votes
2answers
419 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 $-$. ...
2
votes
4answers
470 views

Using the result of Solve in subsequent calculations

I'd like to know how to use the results of Solve in later calculations. Here's what I'm doing now: This is my expression ...
2
votes
1answer
784 views

Indices and variable definitions in Mathematica

Does anyone know how I can do this in Mathematica? Just an example.. Defining indices and variables (defined over indices), "mapping" variables and indices: ...
11
votes
2answers
271 views

Convert operator to string

How to programmatically convert an operator such as Equilibrium into its displayed form as a string? The conversion should work like this: ...
11
votes
3answers
263 views

Numbers in alternate bases transcend the evaluator?

It looks to me like a number in a base other than base 10 gets evaluated before the evaluator ever gets a chance to be tweaked. For example, FullForm[16^^abcdef] ...
7
votes
2answers
178 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

What is an alternative to using backticks in separating namespaces from function names?

What is an alternative to the backtick (`) in separating the namespace from the function name? Can the function be called without using this symbol? I think in ...
8
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
729 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)\, ...
7
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
387 views

Syntax for prefix mode with multiple arguments using @ shorthand

Is it possible to use the @ symbol with multiple arguments? The Prefix command suggested not. If so, why?
7
votes
4answers
5k 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
243 views

Finding the position of a specific value in a list

Is it possible to easily find the position of a specific value in a list? For example, if the list is {{x1,y1},{x2,y2},...,{xn,yn}} I would like to know the ...
5
votes
1answer
227 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. ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
516 views

What does the slash-colon symbol do?

I came across a bit of code that uses the syntax /: and I don't know what it does. I can't find its documentation, or maybe I'm just not looking properly. The code ...
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 \\... ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Orthonormalization of non-hermitian matrix eigenvectors

When using Orthogonalize[] one can specify which definition of "inner product" is to be used. For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

How do you set an Optional parameter with a global variable on a Function defined in a Package

In a Package I am writing, I'm trying to define a function with an Optional parameter in it that is set to a global variable. ...
9
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
262 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
348 views

Explanation on why Compile statement works only if input and output sizes work

I found the following code: Compile[{{m, _Real, 2}}, Fourier[m]][Table[N[i - j], {i, 4}, {j, 4}]] which doesn't work correctly. But the following was posted as a ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

NMinimize with defined function call getting error NMinimize::nnum

I want to call the NMinimize function for my own defined calculations but I got an error. Below is a simple example. ...
13
votes
7answers
823 views

Equating matrices (or higher order tensors) element-wise

Say I have two matrices (or, as in my case, higher order tensors) $A,B$, and I want to solve the equation $A=B$. To do so , I need a list of equations that equate entry-wise the elements of $A$ and ...
8
votes
4answers
618 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
305 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 ...
46
votes
6answers
2k views

Functions vs. patterns

Every time I define a new function, I wonder which construct I should use: true functions obtained by using Function, or rule-based syntax. For example, these are ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Differentiation w/o assiging concrete values

v = Subscript[v, 0]*Sin[(Pi*S)/Subscript[S, 0]]; a = dv/ds v; a = D[v, s] returns ...
23
votes
1answer
462 views

Why doesn't PatternTest work with Composition?

While playing around with the solutions to this question, I've found some very strange behaviour: ...
3
votes
2answers
699 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
578 views

Using variables in function names

I want to make a list of plots and my functions are named C1, C2... Cn. The command I wish ...
5
votes
4answers
300 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Representing second derivatives with a double overdot

I would like to express a second derivative with two dots above the variable. You can do this with a first derivative by saying: ...
9
votes
2answers
852 views

Flatten at a certain level

In an earlier question the brainteasing fourth syntax variant of Flatten was discussed. I see that with ...
12
votes
3answers
443 views

With versus Function

I've seen people compare Block with Module and With as scoping constructs, and try to figure ...
18
votes
5answers
565 views

Change syntax from other programs to mathematica syntax

Is there a good way to transform syntax from other computer algebra systems or from latex to mathematica syntax?