# Lambda Functions Aren’t Always Your Best Choices

## Don’t reinvent the wheels

May 28, 2020 · 4 min read
`lambda arguments: expression`

## Operations Over Sequences

`>>> # Create a list of tuples for sorting>>> scores = [(95, 98, 99), (94, 97, 93), (95, 92, 93), (100, 95, 98)]`
`>>> # Sort the list with a lambda function>>> # The most tedious>>> sorted(scores, key=lambda x: x[0] + x[1] + x[2])[(95, 92, 93), (94, 97, 93), (95, 98, 99), (100, 95, 98)]>>> >>> # Slightly better>>> sorted(scores, key=lambda x: sum(x))[(95, 92, 93), (94, 97, 93), (95, 98, 99), (100, 95, 98)]`
`>>> # Best, using sum() directly>>> sorted(scores, key=sum)[(95, 92, 93), (94, 97, 93), (95, 98, 99), (100, 95, 98)]`
`>>> # Find out the team with the member having the highest score>>> # Using lambda>>> max(scores, key=lambda x: max(x))(100, 95, 98)>>> >>> # Using built-in directly>>> max(scores, key=max)(100, 95, 98)`

## Higher-Order Functions

`>>> # Create a list of numbers>>> numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]>>> >>> # Use the lambda with map()>>> squares0 = list(map(lambda x: x*x, numbers))>>> squares0[1, 4, 9, 16, 25]`
`>>> # Use the list comphrension>>> squares1 = [x*x for x in numbers]>>> squares1[1, 4, 9, 16, 25]`
`>>> # List comprehension with conditional>>> odds_squares = [x*x for x in numbers if x%2]>>> odds_squares[1, 9, 25]`

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Written by

## Yong Cui

Work at the nexus of biomedicine, data science & mobile dev. Love to write on these technological topics. Follow me @ycui01 on Twitter to get latest articles.

## The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +786K followers.

Written by

## Yong Cui

Work at the nexus of biomedicine, data science & mobile dev. Love to write on these technological topics. Follow me @ycui01 on Twitter to get latest articles.

## The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +786K followers.

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