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## Re: WG: Tools for mathematical calculations and graphical output

 From: Geordie McBain Subject: Re: WG: Tools for mathematical calculations and graphical output Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 19:07:34 -0500 User-agent: Mutt/1.5.8i

```> > Steve,
> >
> > You don't say what computer you're using, but if you're looking for a
> > symbolic math package, Maxima (also known as Macsyma in the commercial
> > version) is still around after almost 40 years. It is based on LISP and,
> > depending on the implementation, has some nice graphics features. Googling
> > will find it.
> >
> > Joe Koski

Yes, I use and endorse Maxima too.  Someone said the documentation was
confusing and that there are some bugs; that may be true, but the
Maxima mailing list (like Octave's) is populated with helpful friendly
experts and reported bugs are often fixed overnight or faster.

Another astonishingly nifty mathematical tool available under the GPL
is Calc, Dave Gillespie's GNU Emacs calculator

http://www.synaptics.com/people/daveg/

It'll run on any system that runs Emacs.

To give you a "screenshot"; here's an actual example from a problem I
did yesterday.  I have in line "3:" two linearly independent solutions
of u''(x) = 0, then in line "2:" their Wronskian matrix, then in line
"1:" its symbolic matrix inverse

--- Emacs Calculator Mode ---
3:  [1 - x, 1 + x]
2:  [ [ 1 - x, 1 + x ]
[  -1,     1   ] ]
1:  [ [ 1:2, -1:2 - x / 2 ]
[ 1:2, 1:2 - x / 2  ] ]
.

Lines 2 and 1 were computed symbolically by Calc from line 3.

I know we're a little off topic here, but I reckon these three tools
in particular (Octave, Maxima, & Calc) are really complementary.

Geordie McBain
www.aeromech.usyd.edu.au/~mcbain

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