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The Mathematica Programmer

Higher-Order Functions

Volume 5, Issue 3
Summer 1995
Roman E. Maeder
 

Although functions are arguably the most important concept in mathematics, functions are not generally available as (first-class) values in all programming languages. The exception are, of course, the languages that derive their collective name from functions: the functional languages. After a short introduction to functional languages, this article concentrates on higher-order functions: functions that take other functions as arguments or return functions as results. This possibility allows for a number of fascinating applications, ranging from useful to esoteric.

     
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