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MathGroup Archive 2002

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About programming Mathematica [Newbie question]

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg32662] About programming Mathematica [Newbie question]
  • From: Wyvern <wyvern5 at>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 01:19:38 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi. I'm new to Mathematica and I'm having some trouble understanding what
metaphor it uses for programming. I've used Octave a bit (I did a simple
simulation of a pursuit problem) and, in Octave, I simply made a file in
emacs (with a .m ext) and typed the filename in the Octave command line. Not
exactly sophisticated, but it was easy. What would the comparable
Mathematica technique? Surely it cannot be to do a function[] := (and then
some operations) in a notebook. That would mean that I'd have to do cut and
paste into a new cell to make any changes, which would certainly be a hassle
compared  to switching windows and doing c-x c-s, then re-executing inside
Octave. Surely there is a more elegant solution, something more

One might ask, if Octave is so darn wonderful, why not do it there? Well,
it's not very user-friendly, and the whole point of this exercise that I
need to program is to get familiar with a tool like Mathematica. (I need to
solve a Hungarian method 10x10 matrix problem.)

If you can point me the right way as regards to programming, I'm pretty sure
I can throw together an algorithm, but if you could direct me to an
algorithm for determining the optimal system for finding zero-covering
lines, I would be very grateful.

Please forgive the obviousness of the solution to my problem... I only got
this software recently.


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