80
votes
4answers
5k views

Functions with Options

Suppose you want to create a function which has optional arguments. Maeder's book Programming in Mathematica covers the topic extensively up to version 3, but some things have changed/evolved since ...
74
votes
2answers
5k views

Shaving the last 50 ms off NMinimize

The epilogue: A paper where the below answer is used was published. The answer below is cited among the references:) The background: I have to fit an objective function for ~10 000 datasets in near ...
62
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the difference between Reduce and Solve?

Solve and Reduce both can be used for solving equations. Just by working with them, I know there are some differences between ...
43
votes
8answers
8k views

How do you convert a string containing a number in C scientific notation to a Mathematica number?

Suppose I have a string containing the C-representation of a floating point number, for example s = "1.23e-5" and I want to convert this to a Mathematica number. ...
98
votes
2answers
10k views

How to manipulate 2D plots?

When it comes to visual analysis, large datasets or data with intricate internal details often makes plotting in 2D useless, as the outcome is either just a fraction of the full dataset, or no details ...
72
votes
8answers
11k views

Creating Mathematica packages

I'm building a package to help me write packages and their documentation. In this post I explained how to make a package and its documentation. In the answer I provided I describe how to build a very ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

Scan vs. Map vs. Apply

I cannot understand the difference between Apply, Scan, and Map. I have tried to play with ...
17
votes
4answers
2k 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) ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

How to perform a depth-first preorder traversal of an expression?

Due to confusion of terminology on my part I asked the wrong question before. Since it has already received other answers I shall not edit it, but instead ask the question I meant to in the first ...
43
votes
5answers
22k views

How do I clear all user defined symbols?

Is there some way to do this other than going to Evaluation -> Quit kernel and firing a new one up?
32
votes
2answers
10k views

Can we use letter with a subscript as a variable in Mathematica?

I tried Subscript[a, 0] = 1 (* 1 *) Clear[Subscript[a, 0]] ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

Finding unit tangent, normal, and binormal vectors for a given r(t)

For my Calc III class, I need to find $T(t), N(t)$, and $B(t)$ for $t=1, 2$, and $-1$, given $r(t)=\{t,t^2,t^3\}$. I've got Mathematica, but I've never used it before and I'm not sure how to coerce ...
59
votes
6answers
2k views

How to avoid nested With[]?

With[ {v1 = #}, With[ {v2 = f[v1]}, g[v1, v2] ] ] How to avoid nested With[] like the above? I'd like to use <...
50
votes
8answers
2k views

How to “Copy as Unicode” from a Notebook?

I spent some time manually editing a post replacing Mathematica ASCII \[Alpha] with Unicode α. I did this by laboriously ...
45
votes
2answers
2k views

when is f@g not the same as f[g]?

I have always thought that f@g will give the same result as f[g] in all cases, and it is just a matter of style which one to use ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

Mathematica Destructuring

Context I'm writing a function that look something like: ...
18
votes
3answers
586 views

How can I get the unchanged Box form of an arbitrary expression?

One may observe that MakeBoxes does not give the actual Box form of various expressions: MakeBoxes[{1*^4, 000123, a*b c}] <...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does MatrixForm affect calculations?

This is a really newbie question, but it has me confused. Why does this code work without // MatrixForm and doesn't work with ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Assigning values to a list of variable names

As part of a calculation I need to do something like this Evaluate[{aaa, bbb, ccc}[[ index]]] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} so if index is ...
85
votes
6answers
18k views

$\LaTeX$ and Mathematica

I quite often would like to draw graphics in my $\LaTeX$ documents using Mathematica. I have encountered three problems. I would like to know if there are any workarounds to these problems I would ...
130
votes
3answers
8k views

Performance tuning in Mathematica?

What performance tuning tricks do you use to make a Mathematica application faster? MATLAB has an amazing profiler, but from what I can tell, Mathematica has no similar functionality.
40
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I simplify an expression into form which uses my own definitions?

This seems like a simple thing to do, but I couldn't find anything relevant from Mathematica documentation. So suppose I have an expression: a*b/(a + a*Cos[a/b]) ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a function be made to accept a variable amount of inputs?

I have a function that takes two inputs and processes them for a single output. What I need is one that can take a varying number of inputs. and process them to a single output. Is this possible in ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you programatically load data into symbols?

I am trying to convert a list of string names into symbols, which will then be used to store data. I have 24 files (where the name of each file is a member of the list mentioned above) that I need to ...
6
votes
2answers
442 views

Programming with Dynamic

I don't understand the following: f[a_, b_] := a + b ls = {1, 2, 3}; MapThread[f, {ls, {10, 20, 30}}] This yields ( as expected ) {11,22,33} If I change ...
79
votes
3answers
8k views

Recovering data points from an image

Unfortunately, some data can only be obtained in picture form (Japanese publications anyone?). Since this cannot be worked with, it has to be converted to a dataset that can; I was wondering whether ...
77
votes
3answers
3k views

Flatten command: matrix as second argument

One thing I could never wrap my head around is how Flatten works when provided with a matrix as the second argument, and the Mathematica help isn't particularly ...
55
votes
2answers
3k views

Internal`Bag inside Compile

Since Internal`Bag, Internal`StuffBag and Internal`BagPart can be compiled down, it is a ...
51
votes
5answers
2k views

How to abort on any message generated?

Mathematica is a bit unusual as a programming language because it never stops on messages, regardless of whether the message is an error, a warning or just an informative message. It simply prints the ...
43
votes
7answers
3k views

Character edge finding

The following line of code finds the edge of a character: ...
34
votes
4answers
5k views

Fastest way to calculate matrix of pairwise distances

It is a very common problem that given a distance function $d(p_1,p_2)$ and a set of points pts, we need to construct a matrix ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Usage of Assuming for Integration

For some reason, when I enter the following integration in Mathematica Assuming[{k ∈ Integers}, Integrate[ Exp[ I k t], {t, -π, π}]] the result turns out to be 0....
45
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I implement dynamic programming for a function with more than one argument?

Dynamic programming is a technique for avoiding the repeated computation of the same values in a recursive program. Each value computed is immediately stored. If the value is needed again, it is not ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Plotting several functions

I'd like to plot a function of one real and one integer variable, but I don't want them all shown in the same 2-D plot - I'd like to see them as separate curves so I can see both "axes", more like how ...
49
votes
2answers
1k views

Head and everything except Head?

I have been working on picking expressions apart using Head and Part and encountered a little mystery. Consider the canonical ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

How to modify function argument?

Usually in programming languages, function arguments are normal local variables, which can be modified. Is this not true in Mathematica? ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How to get the real PlotRange using AbsoluteOptions?

The problem in general involves the unreliable behaviour of AbsoluteOptions when option values are implicitly specified (e.g. ...
84
votes
6answers
7k views

Minimal effort method for integrating C++ functions into Mathematica

As of Mathematica 8, what is the minimal effort way to integrate an existing C++ function into Mathematica? I think we have these: MathLink (it was quite long ago I used it last time) communication ...
80
votes
8answers
3k views

Functional style using lazy lists?

Let's say I want to answer the question "what are the first 400 palindromic prime numbers?" The first approach that comes to my mind from the set of languages that I know is to use some sort of lazy ...
50
votes
4answers
3k views

Point Renderings Slightly Off in Mathematica

The Mathematica code ...
39
votes
2answers
4k views

Generating a broken or snipped axis in ListPlot

I have two data sets, data1 and data2. For example: ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

how to differentiate formally?

I have been wrapping my head around this for a while now and I have not found a solution so far. I want to work with an arbitrary number of variables in mathematica and use some built in functions. ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

Find continuous sequences inside a list

I have a list which is something like this: {3,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,15,16,17,19,20,21,22,23,24,42,43,44,45,46} What I'd like to to is get the intervals which are in ...
52
votes
2answers
4k views

What is so special about Prime?

When we try to evaluate Prime on big numbers (e.g. 10^13) we encounter the following issue: ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Using a list of tuples in a pure function

I want to use a list of tuples within a function to make assignments. Say I want to make assignments of the form value[i,j] = val What I have is a list of ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

General::ivar is not a valid variable when plotting - what actually causes this and how to avoid it?

I was just evaluating a couple of expressions and started to get errors like this: ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Error entering equation in DSolve

I entered a command incorrectly as follows: DSolve[{y'[x]=y[x]},y[x],x] I am now experiencing: ...
94
votes
1answer
4k views

Programmatic formatting for Mathematica code - possible?

It seems to be both an interesting programming challenge and a very useful practical application to have a Mathematica program which would allow one to pretty-print Mathematica code, so that it is ...
78
votes
1answer
3k views

Open-source IntelliJ IDEA plugin to support Mathematica development

Although we already had a question asking for development alternatives to Wolfram Workbench, I want to ask a more specific question: One of the most advanced IDE's especially for Java programming ...
50
votes
3answers
6k views

Understanding CDF

Update Since more and more issues are revealed as I venture deeper into the world of CDF, I decided to make this thread more general and hopefully more useful. I now posted my findings as an answer, ...

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