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Re: FindRoots?

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  • Subject: [mg112266] Re: FindRoots?
  • From: Mark McClure <mcmcclur at>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 02:02:22 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 4:13 AM, Andrzej Kozlowski <akozlowski at> wrote:

> The point of my original post was not that Mathematica should not have
> a functionality to produce complete solutions of numerical equations but
> that leasing packages from users is not the right approach for Wolfram.
> ...
> I know of only one exception that WRI has made to this rule: the
> Combinatorica package, co-authored by Steven Skiena

Actually, Mathematica contains quite a lot of code authored by users.
The palettes introduced in V7 were created by Eric Schultz of Walla
Walla Community College.  Much of the geodetic capabilities were
authored by Thomas Mayer of The University of Connecticut.  Stan Wagon
of Macalester tells me that he's contributed functionality to the
kernel.  Sometimes, Wolfram even hires such authors; the author of the
IMTEK Mathematica supplement is such and example.  If you click on
"Credits" in the About Mathematica box, you'll find a huge amount of
third party software used by Mathematica.

As far as this specific discussion goes, I must say that I find Reduce
to be rather mysterious.  The documentation actually states that
"Reduce[expr,vars] reduces the statement...".  It's clearly very
powerful but it's primarily algebraic.  Thus it doesn't seem
appropriate in many situations - if a function is defined via a
numerical technique, for example.

Mark McClure

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