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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Symbolic Derivatives with respect to a vector

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg19929] Symbolic Derivatives with respect to a vector
  • From: Tim Lahey <tjlahey at>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 02:22:57 -0400
  • Organization: Computer Graphics Lab - University of Waterloo
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I am wondering if Mathematica can handle symbolic derivatives with
respect to a vector. I am
performing a Method of Ritz approximation and I have to get the
Euler-Lagrange equations.

As an example, here is part of an equation I have to take the
derivatives of:

a'*Aij*a + a'*Aij*b + b'*Aij*a

where a and b are vectors, ' indicates a transpose, and Aij is a matrix.
In order to get
the Euler-Lagrange equations I have to take the derivatives with respect
to a and b. I
can do this by hand but is it possible to do this symbolically ?


Tim Lahey

Tim Lahey
M.A.Sc Student - Systems Design Engineering
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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