# NIntegrate allegedly evaluating to non-numerical values

I'm getting non-numerical-evaluation error messages despite not having any symbolic variables in my code.

Here's a MWE representative of what I'm doing:

f[x_,y_]:=NIntegrate[(2y-(x-a/2)^2),{a,0,1}];
FindMaximum[{f[x,0.5],0<x<1},{x,0}]


This results in the following error:

NIntegrate: The integrand 1.-((-(a/2)+x)^2) has evaluated to non-numerical values for all sampling points in the region with boundaries {{0,1}}.

I don't see what the problem is. $$f$$ is clearly a function of $$x$$ and $$y$$ and has no non-numerical parameters. I fact, it seems to behave properly other than when I ask it to find the maximum:

f[0.2,0.5]


0.9767

Plot[f[x,0.5],{x,0,1}] I've tried adding ?NumericQ in the function definition as follows, but I get the same result:

f[x_,y_?NumericQ]:=NIntegrate[(2y-(x-a/2)^2),{a,0,1}];


I've also tried adding ?NumericQ to to function arguments when I call the function in the FindMaximum command, again to no avail:

FindMaximum[{f[x,0.5?NumericQ],0<x<1},{x,0}]


I had a look at this Q&A, but my situation doesn't fall into any of the cases described there.

What's going on?

• This works for me: Clear[f]; f[x_?NumericQ, y_?NumericQ] := NIntegrate[(2 y - (x - a/2)^2), {a, 0, 1}]; Jun 2 at 22:37
• Yeah, that works. I didn't realise ?NumericQ was a per-variable command; I figured adding it once would make it work for all variables of a function. Cheers! (If you can type that as an answer, I can accept that answer.)
– Rain
Jun 2 at 22:50

The problem is that Mathematica tries to evaluate f[x,0.5] before x is defined. This issue is explained clearly in this Wolfram support page.

To force the function to only evaluate if it receives numerical values for both x and y:

Clear[f];
f[x_?NumericQ, y_?NumericQ] := NIntegrate[(2 y - (x - a/2)^2), {a, 0, 1}]
FindMaximum[{f[x, 0.5], 0 < x < 1}, {x, 0}]
(* {0.979167, {x -> 0.25}} *)


In this particular case, you really only need to restrict x:

Clear[f];
f[x_?NumericQ, y_] := NIntegrate[(2 y - (x - a/2)^2), {a, 0, 1}]

• For comparison, f[x_, y_] = Integrate[(2 y - (x - a/2)^2), {a, 0, 1}]; Maximize[f[x, 1/2], x] Jun 3 at 6:49