68
votes
4answers
5k views

Using the Mathematica front-end efficiently for editing notebooks

Background: I have used Vim for 15+ years. There is a certain "one"-ness with the editor one achieves. Emacs users also experience this. Notepad users do not. My current interaction with the ...
67
votes
5answers
5k views

What does the construct f[x_] := f[x] = … mean?

This question mentions "x := x = trickery". What does defining a function as f[x_] := f[x] = ... do and what is it good for?
67
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the most convenient way to read definitions of in-memory symbols when we don't have the source files? (Spelunking tools)

Note: I put Simon's implementation on GitHub. Contributions welcome! When trying to read the definition of already defined (package or built-in) symbols using ...
67
votes
5answers
4k views

Writing a word with straight lines

Here is an interesting way to write a word: (it is from a poster for the International Museum Day 2006; I believe it even won an award at an international design competition) by Boris Ljubicic. ...
67
votes
4answers
9k views

Programmatic approach to HDR photography with Mathematica image processing functions

The High dynamic range imaging (HDR or HDRI) direction in photography and image processing became very popular recently. Besides obvious photo art applications (see examples), there are many great ...
66
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to define a new PlotTheme?

In version 10 one can define, say, $PlotTheme = "Scientific" Which changes the appearance of all plots. This is fantastic because on the one hand I can have nice ...
65
votes
4answers
2k views
65
votes
0answers
3k views

Numbered equations/formulas

How do you number equations in Mathematica notebooks so that they are exported correctly into latex? In case you don't know how to put numbered equations here is quick review. Open a new notebook ...
64
votes
11answers
13k views

How to check if a 2D point is in a polygon?

Background: I use code from An Efficient Test For A Point To Be In A Convex Polygon Wolfram Demonstration to check if a point ( mouse pointer ) is in a ( convex ) polygon. Clearly this code fails for ...
64
votes
3answers
2k views

Syntax highlighting for your own functions

Mathematica has a useful feature that for functions and special constructs getting passed local variables (for example Minimize or ...
64
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the best practices / most common / idiomatic ways to report errors in Mathematica?

In particular, what are the best ways to report errors about incorrect arguments to a function? Checking for the correct arguments is relatively easy using patterns, but how to report an informative ...
62
votes
4answers
5k views

Plot draws list of curves in same color when not using Evaluate

This example comes from the Mathematica documentation for Plot under Basic Examples. Can someone please explain why these are each plotted as a different color in ...
62
votes
2answers
3k views

Profiling from Mathematica

I've always wished I could do some profiling like you get in Wolfram Workbench, but directly from Mathematica, without using or having Workbench. If it is possible, how can I do it?
60
votes
5answers
7k views

ListPlot: Plotting large data fast

Mathematica produces fantastic-looking graphics, but it can be slow on large data sets. Here is an example for a (random) time series: ...
59
votes
10answers
5k views

Is Mathematica worth it for me?

I'm 13 years old and in 7th grade. I'm currently in Algebra 1, and I have fallen in love with both math and programming. When I came upon Mathematica, it was awesome. My two favorite things fused ...
59
votes
3answers
5k views

Metaprogramming in Mathematica

Being functional, and having no "quotation", i.e. essentially treating data and programs semantically same, Mathematica seems naturally capable of doing metaprogramming. But could anyone construct a ...
59
votes
3answers
2k views

Reconstruct text pages cut by shredder

Q1: I have a page of a printed text file, but it was cut by a paper shredder (from top to bottom). You can download all the paper fragments here. Here are some of them. How can I reconstruct it? ...
59
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
59
votes
4answers
3k views

Using a PatternTest versus a Condition for pattern matching

My last question to the site resulted in several answers that involve using pattern matching in Mathematica, a feature I wasn't very familiar with at the time. I am currently reading Mathematica ...
58
votes
6answers
10k views
58
votes
3answers
2k views

Replacement inside held expression

I wish to make a replacement inside a held expression: f[x_Real] := x^2; Hold[{2., 3.}] /. n_Real :> f[n] The desired output is ...
58
votes
5answers
2k views

Advice for Mathematica as Mathematician's Aid

I use Mathematica mainly as an aid in symbolic attacks on problems, usually intermediate or harder and often number theoretic. While Reduce, ...
57
votes
9answers
3k views

Updating Wagon's FindAllCrossings2D[] function

Stan Wagon's Mathematica in Action (second edition; I haven't read the third edition and I'm hoping to eventually see it), demonstrates a nifty function called ...
57
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
57
votes
6answers
2k views

V10's Operator Forms - what are they good for?

V10 introduces an operator form for several functions perhaps primarily due to their role in queries as part of introducing data science functionality. At first pass it seems a lot of effort to add ...
57
votes
5answers
14k views

How to find all the local minima/maxima in a range

I want to find : all local maxima in range all local minima in range From those points I can interpolate and combine functions upper and lower boundary. What I am really interested in, is the ...
57
votes
1answer
4k views

Torn edge paper effect for images

In my answers to Plotting Error Bars on a Log Scale I used a so called "torn edge" effect from on one of the images. @SjoerdC.deVries commented: "BTW I liked the ripped-out look of your InputForm ...
57
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to customize the Suggestions Bar?

I'd like to be able to customize the Suggestions Bar in v9.0 to provide recommendations of my own. Possible example: when doing unit calculations, I'd like it to suggest converting the answer to ...
56
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 ...
56
votes
4answers
7k views

How to make a 3D globe?

There are many ways to create a 3D Earth that is rotatable (see here, here, related here), but most of them have some drawbacks. These issues mainly stem from either ...
56
votes
2answers
43k views

Cutting bagels into linked halves

I recently came across this video: Mathematically correct breakfast, which shows how a bagel can be neatly sliced into two identical linked halves. I'd like to try this with Mathematica. Here's a ...
55
votes
4answers
20k views

Creating legends for plots with multiple lines?

So I have a graph with multiple lists, for e.g. data = {{1,2}, {3,4}, {3,5}, {2,3} . . .} If I then do ...
55
votes
5answers
10k views

How to create hedcut style images?

Yesterday the hedcut style was brought up in chat. How can we create a hedcut-like style automatically in Mathematica, using a photograph as a starting point? I am looking to create a similar ...
55
votes
2answers
3k views

Extract values for ViewMatrix from a Graphics3D

Under More Information in the help page of ViewMatrix the following entry can be found With the setting ...
55
votes
3answers
28k views

How to create a new “person curve”?

Wolfram|Alpha has a whole collection¹ of parametric curves that create images of famous people. To see them, enter WolframAlpha["person curve"] into a Mathematica ...
55
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to improve Mathematica's auto-completion feature?

In this answer Brett Champion describes how one can intercept and modify the suggestions used for auto-completion. Question: Is it possible to modify the suggestion for the automatic auto-completion ...
55
votes
1answer
1k views

Incompatible Changes since Mathematica Version 7?

There is documentation of the incompatible changes made to Mathematica with each major release: Incompatible Changes since Mathematica Version 1 Unfortunately that documentation simply stopped ...
55
votes
0answers
1k views

Is this the most effective and efficient programming style for prototyping (a ray tracer) in Mathematica?

I am trying out Mathematica as a prototyping tool. As an initial exercise I have put together a brute force ray tracer, with a view to using Mathematica's built in probability distribution functions ...
54
votes
10answers
6k views

Having used Mathematica as a “gateway” language, where to from here?

I have been using Mathematica for about a year. It is the first language that I have attempted to learn. I'm still very much a newbie, but there are moments I feel more like I am waving than drowning. ...
54
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a way to separate variables between multiple notebooks?

I often correct homework by checking the calculations in Mathematica. Sometimes you would like to have two solutions open at once. However often defined symbols such as ...
54
votes
10answers
2k views

Injecting a sequence of expressions into a held expression

Consider the following toy example: Hold[{1, 2, x}] /. x -> Sequence[3, 4] It will give Hold[{1, 2, Sequence[3, 4]}] ...
53
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Mathematica an Implementation of the Wolfram Language?

I am trying to figure out what the announcement of the Wolfram Language means for Mathematica. Is Mathematica an implementation of the Wolfram Language, or is it something else?
52
votes
3answers
2k views

Python-style plots in Mathematica

I love making plots in Mathematica. And I love to spend a lot of time making high-quality plots that maximize readability and aesthetics. For most cases, Mathematica can make very beautiful images, ...
52
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I use Mathematica's graph functions to cheat at Boggle?

Boggle is a word game played with 16 dice and a 4x4 tray. This question is inspired by a Stack Overflow question about Boggle that I decided to solve using Mathematica. In addition to Mathematica, I ...
52
votes
1answer
1k views

DumpsterDoofus's captivating generative art

How can I render these beautiful images that DumpsterDoofus posted?
52
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
3answers
4k views

Numerically solving Helmholtz equation in 2D for arbitrary shapes

I would like to solve the Helmholtz equation with dirichlet boundary conditions in 2 dimensions for an arbitrary shape. (for a qualitative comparison of the eigenstates to periodic orbits in the ...
51
votes
4answers
7k views

Placing a ContourPlot under a Plot3D

I would like to combine a 3-dimensional graph of a function with its 2-dimensional contour-plot underneath it in a professional way. But I have no idea how to start. I have a three of these I would ...
51
votes
3answers
2k views

Applying TextRecognize on alpha-numerical table

From time to time I have to extract data from scanned papers or rasterized PDFs. Imagine a table of the following kind (but much longer): A naive application of ...
51
votes
2answers
3k views

Once more on object orientation in Mathematica: does it have to be so hard?

Recently I came across a set of problems which would be solved most easily within an object-oriented approach. I first attempted to solve them by other means, but found the complexity of the code ...

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