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Using "=" vs ":="
*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
*Subject*: [mg70664] Using "=" vs ":="
*From*: misha <iamisha1 at comcast.net>
*Date*: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 01:20:22 -0400 (EDT)
I'm going through Mathematic by Example, 2nd ed., (Abell and Braselton),
and have come across something that puzzles me.
Chapter 2, Section 2, Example 8
Define f(x,y)=1-sin(x^2+y^2)
So I first try,
In[1]:= f[x_, y_]:=1-Sin(x^2+y^2)
No problem so far...
Then,
In[2]:= f[x,y]
Out[2]:=1-Sin(x^2+y^2)
Still no problem...
Then,
In[3]:=f[1,2]
Out[3]:=1-5 Sin
Huh?
I noticed that rather than using ":=" to "simply define" this function,
as opposed to (just) "=" to "define and compute" this function, I get
different subsequent behavior. Specifically, doing the above with just
"=", works fine.
In[1]:= f[x_, y_]=1-Sin(x^2+y^2)
....
In[3]:=f[1,2]
Out[3]:=1-Sin[5]
My question is, Why? What's the difference between ":=" and "=" for
defining functions?
Thanks!
Misha
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