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MathGroup Archive 2000

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Symbolic vectors and differentiation

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg24700] Symbolic vectors and differentiation
  • From: Ralph Benzinger <ralph at>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 01:19:25 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: The Final Frontier
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hello world,

Does anybody know how to define or simulate "symbolic vectors",
i.e. something like

	v = Table[i, {i, 1, n}]

but where n is a symbolic constant?  All regular vector and matrix
operations like Dot and Cross should still work, e.g. given above


should yield something like

	Sum[i^2, {i, 1, n}]  or  n/6 (n+1)(2n+1).

A related problem I'm currently facing: Is there a way to make
Mathematica differentiate with respect to indexed variables?  For

	D[Sum[x[i]^2, {i, 1, n}], x[j]]

should yield

	2 x[j]

rather than the actual output 0.

Any comments are highly appreciated.


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