Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New light on things we take for granted.

Minimum: Primary definition (formula

While looking for articles by Stephen Wolfram, I came across his http://functions.wolfram.com web site. Intrigued, I started to poke around, and looked at the alphabetical index of functions. The Min(x,y) caught my eye.. Sure it's simple enough... Take two numbers and return the lowest. Pretty intuitive, in fact. But how do you prove it?

The function above does just that. At first blush the function looks a bit daunting, but just write it down on a piece of paper. Pick two numbers and plug them in. Since you are proabably, like me, a little rusty on the on the mathematics, the bit after the semicolon just means that x1 and x2 need to be members of the set of Real numbers, imaginary numbers need not apply!

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I wasn't looking for Stephen Wolfram, but rather Theodore Gray. Well, they Co-founded Wolfram Research, so I guess the confusion is understandable.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Those guys at Wolfram are a lot of fun at parties.