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MathGroup Archive 2009

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

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg96816] Re: newbie: how to define, typeset a multi-rule function?
  • From: Albert Retey <awnl at gmx-topmail.de>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 04:06:52 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <go0j63$n28$1@smc.vnet.net>

Tom Roche wrote:
> 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
> rbrace
> 
> (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?

I think what you want is Piecewise. It formats as you want and can also
be input the way you want, which is described in the documentation for
Piecewise.

Piecewise functions can be handled by many mathematica functions, so I
think you can then "solve it", whatever solving a function might mean to
you...

hth,

albert


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