Re: returning a variable's name, rather than the variable's contents

• To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
• Subject: [mg68461] Re: returning a variable's name, rather than the variable's contents
• From: Peter Pein <petsie at dordos.net>
• Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2006 02:56:32 -0400 (EDT)
• References: <eauvns\$17c\$1@smc.vnet.net>
• Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

```Michael Stern schrieb:
> There must be a simple way to do this but it eludes me. Take for example the
> following:
>
>
>
> In[2]:= a=1;b=2;c=3;
>
>
>
> In[3]:= Max[a,b,c]
>
>
>
> Out[3]= 3
>
>
>
> What would I do if I wanted Out[3] to equal "c" ?
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Michael Stern
>
>
>

Hi Michael,

I'm not familiar with the string functions in Mathematica. Therefore a much simpler approach will exist; but this one works:

In[1]:=
Attributes[nameOfMax] := {HoldAll};
nameOfMax[l__] :=
Module[{ls = StringJoin[", ", StringDrop[StringDrop[ToString[Unevaluated[l]], 9], -1], ","], sp},
sp = First /@ StringPosition[ls, ","];
StringTake[ls, sp[[{#1, #1 + 1}]] + {2, -1}]& [Last[Ordering[{l}]]]]
In[3]:=
{a, b, c, huge} = {1, 2, 3, 10^10};
In[4]:=
nameOfMax[a, b, c]
Out[4]=
"c"
In[5]:=
nameOfMax[c, huge, a, b]
Out[5]=
"huge"

HTH,
Peter

```

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