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Re: Mathematica and Lisp

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg129466] Re: Mathematica and Lisp
  • From: John Doty <noqsiaerospace at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 01:39:23 -0500 (EST)
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On Friday, January 11, 2013 8:23:16 PM UTC-7, amzoti wrote:

> It is clear the Mathematica uses Lisp as one of the example programming paradigms it pulls from and I have a general question regarding this.

Perhaps not as much as you think. Mathematica is fundamentally a term rewriting system, a more general concept than the lambda calculus behind Lisp. To be sure, the easiest thing to express as term rewriting is the replacement of a function invocation by its body (as in the lambda calculus), but Mathematica can do more complex things, some rather strange from the lambda calculus point of view. Consider

f_[whoCalled]^:=f
Sin[whoCalled]

which yields

Sin

Very alien to Lisp!



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