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Re: Complex Default

  • Subject: [mg3038] Re: Complex Default
  • From: wagner at bullwinkle.cs.Colorado.EDU (Dave Wagner)
  • Date: 25 Jan 1996 05:12:53 -0600
  • Approved:
  • Distribution: local
  • Newsgroups: wri.mathgroup
  • Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Sender: mj at

In article <4e4nd8$6pj at>, Mark Evans <evans at> wrote:
>The following was a suggestion I sent to Wolfram Research some time ago. 
>I am curious what other people think of it.
>Mark Evans
>evans at
>This suggestion relates to the use of complex numbers in Mathematica.
>Mathematica should incorporate a global user setting that shuts off the
>implicit assumption that undefined variables are complex numbers.

Better yet, I would suggest the introduction of a new attribute,
say "Real".  Then you could simply SetAttributes[sym, Real] to tell
Mathematica that a variable is real.  You can thus have your cake and
eat it too, because some symbols can be real while others would be
assumed to be complex.

There's also a precedent for this:  the attribute Constant.  Constant
indicates that all derivatives for a symbol are 0.  It is used by Dt.
The analogy with what I'm proposing is obvious.

		Dave Wagner
		Principia Consulting
		(303) 786-8371
		dbwagner at

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