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MathGroup Archive 2001

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Re: Greatest element in list

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg30498] Re: [mg30474] Greatest element in list
  • From: Ken Levasseur <Kenneth_Levasseur at>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 04:05:57 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


You need to enclose list in [ ]'s:


or use the syntax


This should work if Max[list] evaluates to an element of list, but that 
doesn't aways happen if you have a list of symbols.   For example,   
Max[{a,b}] doesn't simplify further and so  Position will return {}.

Ken Levasseur
Math. Sciences
UMass Lowell

Oliver Friedrich wrote:

>what's the best way to get the position of the greatest number in list of
>reals? I've tried
>but surprisingly, it doesn't work all the time, sometimes it returns an
>empty list. How is that, because a theorem says that a non empty set of real
>numbers must have at least one biggest element. So Max[#] can't be empty.
>Any solutions ?
>Oliver Friedrich

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