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Re: Re: piecewise vs which

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg60196] Re: [mg60181] Re: piecewise vs which
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 04:03:54 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


Mathematica is somewhere between being a toolkit for doing mathematics and a
metatoolkit for making the tools to do mathematics. In any interesting
application one will almost always have to add definitions and routines to
obtain a convenient approach. I think this is a fact that students should
learn, otherwise there is an invisible barrier blocking their way.

If Mathematica had EVERY useful and convenient routine, then there would be
billions of them and you wouldn't even be able to find the one you want.

I grant that there is a matter of judgement on which routines should be
'built-in' but the problem will always be there and so users should just get
used to writing additional definitions when they need them.

David Park
djmp at

From: Helen Read [mailto:hpr at]
To: mathgroup at

> Why don't you write a little function to test the equality of both
> limits, like this:


My point was that I would like a *built-in* function for finding
two-sided limits (along the real line) that would be easy for beginning
calculus students to use.

Helen Read
University of Vermont

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