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The Essence of Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg37134] The Essence of Mathematica
  • From: Steven <hattons at>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 05:05:03 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Global Symmetry
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I'm attempting to identify the essential aspects of Mathematica.  I believe the 
place to start is with the 'functional operations'.  I'm seeking the 
'basis' of Mathematica.  Kind of the orthonormal subset of functionality 
which can be used to derive all the other.  I'm also trying to be 
pragmatic.  I'm not trying to reinvent Mathematica, I'm just trying to understand 
the invention that already exists.

If anyone is interested in seeing what I've gathered so far, I have a 
notebook in both HTML, and Mathematica (4.2, if that matters) notebook format 
available here:

Please let me know if you have any problems accessing these. The sysadmin is 
kind of new at running a DNS server.  The server may go down for a while at 
sometime in the near future for an upgrade (SuSE Linux 8.0 -> 8.1).  
Ideally that should take about an hour... and then there's reality...

What I'm hoping for is some constructive feedback regarding my selection of 
functions.  I am aware that I've neglected the more advanced use of these 
functions such as level specification.  I'm trying to keep things as simple 
as possible.  I'm not looking for the obfuscated Mathematica challenge.  Not just 
yet.  I'm seeking the examples which, if correctly understood, will make 
other Mathematica functionality fall into place.  I believe there is also a set of 
'procedural operators' which can properly be treated separately.  I hope to 
get to them soon. 

I know I've received some very good feedback on other questions I've asked 
on the news group.  I owe people responses to their thoughtful input.  I 
hope to address these soon.  I am very grateful to all who have responded 
to my questions.


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