[Numpy-discussion] Irregular arrays

rw679aq02 at sneakemail.com rw679aq02 at sneakemail.com
Mon Sep 4 23:27:17 CDT 2006


Exalted presences and superior intellects aside, the point is not hard
to get:  Motivational examples are everywhere.

Think about gridding physical problems expressed in cylindrical or
spherical coordinates.  The natural slices are not rectangles.  You can
use rectangular storage but only with O(n^3) waste.

More abstract solution spaces of math and physics do not usually lend
themselves to rectangular treatments.  (I understand finite element
techniques and am not referring to those.)  Again, rectangular storage
is possible only with O(n^d) waste, where commonly d>3.

Granted one may overcome these issues with software development effort;
that insight begs the question.  I am looking for teaching software that
already does so.

I agree that rectangular storage is easiest for software programmers and
hence common.  It is not easiest for solving all problems.  Students
should explore solutiuon spaces in a proper setting.  So I just asked
what numpy could do in this regard.  Now I have the plain answer, and am
grateful for it.




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