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Old 02-05-2005, 11:04 AM   #1
clausawits
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Symbolic math in Linux?


Hello all, I was wondering if anyone knows of any programs that can do symbolic mathematical manipulations in Linux.

As a highly simple example of symbolic manipulation, say you enter:
X^2+2=Y
you could then ask the program to solve for X, and it would respond with something akin to:
X=+/-(Y-2)^.5
In other words, you don't have to provide numeric values for the variables, you can leave them as symbols.

As far as I know Octave is Matlab-like and is numeric only.. purely symbolic use is not available.

I own MathCad (a Windows program), which does what I am looking for quite sufficiently. However I am still struggling to get wine working (but that's another thread topic)..

Just curious if anyone knew of a hidden gem of a symbolic math package or not..

Thanks much!
 
Old 02-05-2005, 12:02 PM   #2
jtshaw
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You mentioned Octave being a Matlab-like program. Just in case you didn't know, Matlab is availible for Unix platforms (Linux included). Of course, it is far from free software.

I haven't come across any symbolic math processing programs of yet, but I also haven't looked. If I see anything I'll let you know.
 
Old 02-05-2005, 12:15 PM   #3
jtshaw
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Ok, I did a quick search and I found two programs. Mathomatic and Maxima. According to some stuff I read Mathomatic is very easy to use, but has no gui interface and isn't nearly as feature rich as Maxima. Maxima has a lot of good features, but is a lot harder to use. Hope this helps you out some. Of course, that is all hearsay as I haven't actually installed or run either program myself
 
Old 02-05-2005, 01:20 PM   #4
phouse
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I use Mathematica from Wolfram. It's a symbolic program but can do numerics when needed (Operator N in front of your statement). It's not free but as you are most likely a student, you can get it for a considerable discount. I purchased Mathematica from my campus bookstore for $129. The license is really restrictive. They bind your authkey to the MAC address of one of your NICs (eth0 I believe; I haven't investigated it. I had a harddrive die on me once and it was a pain in the rear end to get the license moved over.
 
Old 02-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #5
hand of fate
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As far as I know, the best program for symbolic mathematics is Maple.
 
Old 02-06-2005, 01:25 AM   #6
ehawk
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Macsyma and Calc, also MuPad

Calc is an add-on for emacs, and I have read that it is actually quite powerful, but there is an arcane learning curve. Macsyma is also highly regarded. MuPad is not open source, but is currently free for academic use....it is probably the most powerful free (as in beer) symbolic software out there.
 
  


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