Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg127313] Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?*From*: Andrzej Kozlowski <akozlowski at gmail.com>*Date*: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 04:30:07 -0400 (EDT)*Delivered-to*: l-mathgroup@mail-archive0.wolfram.com*Delivered-to*: mathgroup-newout@smc.vnet.net*Delivered-to*: mathgroup-newsend@smc.vnet.net*References*: <jtkuhh$2a$1@smc.vnet.net> <20120712085845.B341E6859@smc.vnet.net> <jtoglu$qk8$1@smc.vnet.net> <50006641.8080505@cs.berkeley.edu> <4C9B8992-4120-4D27-A049-93F3632F2182@gmail.com> <20120714052828.774436867@smc.vnet.net> <FB3DBDDB-A4F4-42A9-8B6D-A880E2980CDF@mimuw.edu.pl> <5001B612.9030903@eecs.berkeley.edu>

I don't intend to get involved in more pompous and futile rhetorics so beloved by Richard, but so I will restrict myself to matters of substance. The stuff about "how it all works" is mere hypothesis - quite interesting in some ways but no more (and actually perhaps less) than similar hypothesis I have heard from my students. It's all rather unimportant. >> Another thing, all your examples of length dependent retrieval involve changing the list in w way that could alter it's length. > This is false. I set the several arrays in fixed size and then changed the contents, not the length. > Your statement is also ungrammatical. ... " it's" is a contraction for "it is" ... not a possessive. :) I will address only the first part of the above (the second is just too childish, even with the smiley, to bother with). You used the construction: B = Table[i, {i, 0, 1000}]; B[[5]] = j; Timing[Do[B[[50]]++, {i, 0, 100000}]] This sort of thing can certainly change the length of a list. A simple example: Clear[B] j /: {a___, j, b__} := {a, 1, 1, b} B = Table[i, {i, 0, 5}]; Length[B] 6 B[[5]] = j; Length[B] 7 It would seem to me that this alone should force re-evaluation of the = list. >> >> Finally, I would like to mention that I have taken no position at all = on the question in the subject of this thread. Clearly using a tool = which was designed for a purpose other than the one you have in mind is = rarely the optimal approach unless there are some benefits that = compensate for the almost inevitable deficiencies. Mathematica was not = designed primarily as an all purpose programming language so it is not = the best tool for the study of the workings of such languages. > That was not the issue. Studying algorithms is not the same as = studying the workings of programming languages. > Mathematica would not be my first choice for either. Studying algorithms is not the same as studying the working of = programming languages and I never said it was. But algorithms have = various aspects some of which can be studied without any mention of any = programming language at all (as happens for example with algorithms in = commutative algebra) and others (such as time and space complexity) = require the introduction of a specific model of a computer and a = suitable language - (as was done, for example, in volume 1 of Knuth's = "The Art of Computer Programming"). Choosing such a model and a language = is always to some extent arbitrary. One could probably create a computer = especially designed to run Mathematica (as was once done with LISP at = MIT) and if this computer became the "accepted standard" "the study of = algorithms" for such a computer would not be exactly the same as the = study of algorithms for th standard computers in use today. Andrzej=

**References**:**Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?***From:*Richard Fateman <fateman@cs.berkeley.edu>

**Re: Algorithm Analysis Course: Should I use Mathematica for projects?***From:*Richard Fateman <fateman@eecs.berkeley.edu>