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Question for the Math-oriented people: is an assignment a function?

From: Roger L. Costello <costello@mitre.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 13:25:04 -0400
Message-ID: <3F158A70.EAC76D3F@mitre.org>
To: www-math@w3.org, "Costello,Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>

Hi Folks,

Consider this formula:

   kilometers = miles * 1.62

A programmer might interpret it like this:

    "kilometers is assigned the result of multiplying the
      value of miles times 1.62."

That is, the equals symbol is treated as an "assignment operator".

An alternate way of interpreting it is to treat the equals symbol as a
"relational operator".  Thus, the above formula would be interpreted as:

   "Does the value of kilometers equal the value of miles
     times 1.62?"

It is my understanding thatMathML interprets the
equal symbol the later way (as a relational operator).

I would like to devise a MathML expression that would be interpreted
along the
lines of the first way (as an assignment operator).

From a mathematician's point-of-view is this interpretation:

    "kilometers is assigned the result of multiplying the
      value of miles times 1.62."

considered a statement of a function?  For example,

     kilometers = f(miles)

where the function, f, muliplies miles time 1.62?

If it is true that this interpretation:

    "kilometers is assigned the result of multiplying the
      value of miles times 1.62."

is a statement of a function then what kind of function is it?  Is it a
lamda function?

How would you express this in MathML?

/Roger
Received on Wednesday, 16 July 2003 13:50:32 GMT

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