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Topic: Mathematica and Lisp
Replies: 83   Last Post: Mar 5, 2013 10:12 PM

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Richard Fateman

Posts: 1,397
Registered: 12/7/04
Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Posted: Jan 14, 2013 12:01 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On 1/12/2013 6:51 PM, David Bailey wrote:
...
>>
> Mathematica has a vague resemblance to LISP, but there are big
> differences. One in particular, is that Mathematica lists are not linked
> lists.


David has a point: to some extent Mathematica "does Lisp wrong". Lisp
has lists but also arrays and hashtables. Mathematica uses the term
List, but the implementation is as an array. Then there is a SparseArray
which is also not an array but a hashtable. The advantage of a true
list is that you can add new elements to it without copying it. The
advantage of an array is that you can access the nth element without
scanning through others.

Maybe it would be fairer to say that Mathematica "does data structures
wrong" because it conflicts with standard usage throughout computer
science.

That's one reason why I think it is questionable
that people should learn Mathematica's language as a first programming
language. (Another reason has to do with the terribly confusing
implementation of scope in Blocks, Modules, Functions, Patterns.)
But that's not pertinent to this particular question.

There is another aspect though, suggesting learning Lisp is not a bad idea.
which is that some parts of
Mathematica's underlying calculation engine are best accessed using
a functional programming style. These include Map and friends, Apply,
Function (&) and a handful of other constructs adapted and occasionally
corrupted from Lisp or other functional-style languages.

Learning a simple version of Lisp, namely Scheme, by reading the
classic Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) by
Abelson/Sussman
can be an illuminating, clarifying experience, especially for people who
have
been exposed to any of the traditional languages or Mathematica.

If you have ever wondered if languages like C++ or Java or PHP ...
really need to be so complicated -- is it inherent in programming
algorithms? then you should take a look at SICP. Free online.


> I'd read the Mathematica tutorial, and forget about LISP!

I'd recommend that you too read SICP. It's deceptively easy to get into,
and many people really enjoy it.

RJF




Date Subject Author
1/11/13
Read Mathematica and Lisp
amzoti
1/12/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/12/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
1/14/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/14/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/18/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
1/22/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/22/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
1/24/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/25/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/26/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Murray Eisenberg
1/26/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Murray Eisenberg
1/26/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
W. Craig Carter
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Murray Eisenberg
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
1/18/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Murray Eisenberg
1/31/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi
2/2/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Daniel Lichtblau
2/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/2/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/5/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/6/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/6/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
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2/5/13
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Richard Fateman
2/6/13
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2/8/13
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2/6/13
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Matthias Bode
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Noqsi
2/6/13
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Richard Fateman
2/6/13
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2/6/13
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mathgroup
2/4/13
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2/6/13
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2/8/13
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2/9/13
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2/9/13
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2/10/13
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michael
2/10/13
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2/8/13
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Andrzej Kozlowski
2/8/13
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Noqsi
2/9/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/10/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/9/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Matthias Bode
2/15/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi
2/17/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/18/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Joseph Gwinn
2/18/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Park
2/22/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/23/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/23/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/25/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
David Bailey
2/26/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/27/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Bill Rowe
2/27/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
3/2/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Bill Rowe
3/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
3/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi
3/5/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
3/5/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Vince Virgilio
3/3/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Bob Hanlon
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi
1/16/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
1/18/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi
2/23/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Dr. Peter Klamser
2/25/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Richard Fateman
2/26/13
Read Re: Mathematica and Lisp
Noqsi

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