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MathGroup Archive 1996

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Re: Complex Default

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg3038] Re: Complex Default
  • From: wagner at bullwinkle.cs.Colorado.EDU (Dave Wagner)
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 03:20:37 -0500
  • Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder

In article <4e4nd8$6pj at dragonfly.wri.com>, Mark Evans <evans at gte.net> wrote:
>The following was a suggestion I sent to Wolfram Research some time ago. 
>I am curious what other people think of it.
>
>Mark Evans
>evans at gte.net
>
>
>Gentlemen:
>
>This suggestion relates to the use of complex numbers in Mathematica.
>
>Mathematica should incorporate a global user setting that shuts off the
>implicit assumption that undefined variables are complex numbers.

Better yet, I would suggest the introduction of a new attribute,
say "Real".  Then you could simply SetAttributes[sym, Real] to tell
Mathematica that a variable is real.  You can thus have your cake and
eat it too, because some symbols can be real while others would be
assumed to be complex.

There's also a precedent for this:  the attribute Constant.  Constant
indicates that all derivatives for a symbol are 0.  It is used by Dt.
The analogy with what I'm proposing is obvious.


		Dave Wagner
		Principia Consulting
		(303) 786-8371
		dbwagner at princon.com
		http://www.princon.com/princon

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