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Re: Definitions missing

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  • Subject: [mg131040] Re: Definitions missing
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 03:30:21 -0400 (EDT)
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Not an unreasonable question, as I've sometimes had the same experience: 
why doesn't the Documentation Center just tell you the definition?

I usually resort to Google search at this point, which typically gives 
me as the top two hits entries at Wikipedia and MathWorld.

There are some situations, though, in which a given function's 
definition has various possible conventions, e.g., as to normalizing 
coefficients. It would be especially helpful there if the Mathematica 

On Jun 4, 2013, at 2:00 AM, Dr. Wolfgang Hintze <weh at> wrote:

> I'm sometimes missing a short path to the *definition* of a
> Mathematica function. Perhaps somebody here could give me a hint.
> Example: StandardDeviation
> I'm double clicking the keyword in the notebook, press F1 and arrive
> in the help browser which tells me that "StandardDeviation" is the
> standard deviation.
> Fine, I almost expected that. But now, how is this quantity defined?
> This is a simple example, of course, but I admit that I forget
> sometimes if it was the sum of the cuadratic differences or the square
> root of it, was it 1/n or 1/(n-1)?
> But the same holds for all functions which frequently are defined e.g.
> by power series or integrals. I personally would like to see this
> definition in the help browser.

Murray Eisenberg                                    
murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.      
Lederle Graduate Research Tower            phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                               413 545-2838 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street                         fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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