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Re: Evaluation question

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg82219] Re: Evaluation question
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 01:25:06 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <> <fepuqv$hvl$> <> <> <fesr61$pjb$> <>

I think this involves a rather subtle difference between an 
expression and its value. (It is sometimes obscured by the fact that 
soem expressions evaluate to themselves so are their own values). In 
this case, it is the values of Plus that are considered numerical, 
but values are obtianed after evaluation. The unevaluated expression 
Plus[1,2] is not itself numerical.

Andrzej Kozlowski

On 14 Oct 2007, at 20:10, Szabolcs Horv=E1t wrote:

> Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>> On 14 Oct 2007, at 08:00, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>>> Wihtout evaluation 1+2 is just a symbol and not the number 3 so 
>>> NumericQ returns False.
>> I should have been more precise. Unevaluated 1+2 is an expression 
>> (rather than a symbol); in fact it is the expression Plus[1,2], 
>> which of course is not numeric. It's value is, of course, numeric, =

>> but that is obtained only after evaluation.
> But Plus has the attribute NumericFunction, therefore it should be 
> considered "numerical" whenever all of its arguments are numerical.
> For example, see In[2] and In[3] below.  f[1,2] stays unevaluated, 
> but NumericQ[f[1,2]] still returns True because 'f' has the 
> attribute NumericFunction, and all of its arguments (1 and 2) are 
> numerical.
>>>> In[1]:= NumericQ[Unevaluated[1+2]]//Trace
>>>> Out[1]= {NumericQ[1+2],False}
>>>> In[2]:= SetAttributes[f,NumericFunction]
>>>> In[3]:= NumericQ[f[1,2]]//Trace
>>>> Out[3]= {NumericQ[f[1,2]],True}
>>>> In[4]:= NumericQ[Unevaluated[f[1,2]]]//Trace
>>>> Out[4]= {NumericQ[f[1,2]],False}
>>> I do not find this surprising. Wihtout evaluation 1+2 is just a 
>>> symbol and not the number 3 so NumericQ returns False.
> --
> Szabolcs

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