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I am a programmer and recently we had some problems with a certain function $f$ that tends to infinity near 10, and we can not have such great values as a result.

Recently there was a collegue trying to tweak the original function to get it close to a fixed number, suppose 10. Although I just suggested using a step function (programming if) to solve it quickly, he said that it could be seen as sloppy or lazy.

Considering that neither of us are mathematicians nor math gurus, is this approach considered negatively by mathematicians?

Edit: Thanks a lot for your responses and sadly I do not recall the exact function, and my collegue is absent, although as soon as he is back I will ask him the formula.

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Why would you possibly care?! –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez Sep 12 '12 at 16:11
You will probably get better information if you describe the function (and its purpose) along with the two different adjustments. –  axblount Sep 12 '12 at 16:18
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

"You know we all became mathematicians for the same reason: we were lazy."

-- Max Rosenlicht

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I was just about to write a comment in that direction, like using multiplication to count oranges stacked in a pyramid instead of counting them, and in general trying to avoid doin the same over and over again, when I noted your answer. –  Hagen von Eitzen Sep 12 '12 at 16:38
@HagenvonEitzen Yeah: how could anyone get the impression that mathematicians aren't interested in time saving devices?! The OP might be suffering from that widespread delusion that math is supposed to make things difficult. –  rschwieb Sep 12 '12 at 16:41
@rschwieb thanks and I hope that I can dialogue with my collegue into doing the simplest solution and not having to deal with problems that can be avoided. –  user1139406 Sep 12 '12 at 20:26
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Mathematicians do this sort of "tweaking" all the time. It is not inherently "sloppy or lazy". Of course I don't know anything about your particular problem - there may or may not be better approaches.

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