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newbie: how to define, typeset a multi-rule function?

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  • Subject: [mg96767] newbie: how to define, typeset a multi-rule function?
  • From: Tom Roche <tlroche at>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 05:46:36 -0500 (EST)

As advertised by the Subject:, I'm new to Mathematica (specifically
7.0.0 for Students for 32-bit Windows on XP Pro) so please excuse any
lapses in terminology. I'd also appreciate pointers to specific docs
rather than just an RTFM. I suspect in this case I just need to know
what the appropriate term is for what I'm trying to create. However
I've tried searching the docs for various permutations of multi-rule
or multi-line function, and even googling, to no avail.

I'm trying to create a notebook that typesets a particular
mathematical function, and then solves it. The function has 2 parts or
rules: it returns k (a constant) for one part of its domain, and 0
otherwise. This is typically typeset with the function name and the
equals sign on one line, then a large left curly bracket (or brace)
centered on that line, then each rule on a separate line with all the
rule lines to the right of the bracket. For an example in a math
layout, I can almost typeset the function in OpenOffice Math like

f_x(%chi) = left lbrace stack {k if %chi in [0,1] # 0 otherwise} right

(except that I don't want the closing brace, but that's another
problem). I tried to create this using the palettes, but I didn't see
one that did multiline brackets. What do I need to use?

Once I've typeset this function, I want to actually solve it. How does
one create a function with multiple rules in Mathematica?

TIA, Tom Roche <Tom_Roche at>

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