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Re: understanding code

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  • Subject: [mg114167] Re: understanding code
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2010 05:26:25 -0500 (EST)

On 11/25/10 at 5:57 AM, sam.takoy at (Sam Takoy) wrote:

>The following code:

>i[_] = 0;

>return 0 1 2 3 4. I'd like to understand whats going on here. That

>What is i?  Is it a function? And what is i[1]? Is it a function or
>a value? Etc...

It is a function. i[1] is the function i evaluated at i. You can
see what is going on by using Trace, i.e.,

In[3]:= Trace[i[1]++]

Out[3]= {i(1)++,{i(1),0},{i(1)=1,1},0}

As you can see, i[1] gets evaluated to whatever value it had
previously which initially is zero. Then the result gets
incremented by 1 and is then assigned to be the new value for
i[1]. This last step is not something I would have expected
without your example and I don't know why it occurs.

I can see times where this behavior might be useful. For
example, it is at times convenient to see i[1] as a subscripted
variable. Thinking of i[1] this way, the notation i[1]++ would
be interpreted as incrementing the subscripted variable by one
and the Mathematica behavior is consistent with this.

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