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Re: Three piece function

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg60226] Re: [mg60197] Three piece function
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 04:53:03 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: murray at
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

What version of Mathematica are you using?  If you are using version 5.1 
or later, then you may avail yourself of the new built-in function 
Piecewise.  For example, you may type in an input cell:

   Piecewise[{{-2, x < 1}, {x, 1 <= x < 3}, {5 - x^2, x â?¥ 3}}]

The corresponding output cell will display with a properly-sized curly 
brace on the left.

Then if you want such an expression to the right of, say "f(x) = " in a 
text cell, Convert that output cell to TraditionalForm and copy it into 
the in-line math portion of the text cell where you are typing.

I'm sorry, but now that Piecewise exists, I've quite forgotten how to do 
this as in earlier versions.  It was alway real pain, as I recall.

Steven Jonak wrote:
> I'm a little new to using Mathematica for creating handouts/quizzes and
> tests so please bear with me!  I'm using Mathematica to write a test and
> I can't seem to get a decent looking three-piece function.  For two
> pieces, the typesetting palette works fine.  I used Show Expression to
> see how they got the curly bracket on the left side but when I tried to
> change it to three pieces with a curly bracket on the left side (a one
> row, three column matrix with the bracket) the size of the bracket
> doesn't change--and looks bad.
> Any suggestions?
> S Jonak
> "Maintain an even strain."

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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