[plt-scheme] Mathematics software

From: Chongkai Zhu (czhu at cs.utah.edu)
Date: Tue Dec 11 12:21:27 EST 2007

Ivan Altaparmakov wrote:
> Hi 
> some time ago there was discussion 
> about mathematica 6 and it's connection to scheme 
> and it turned out that here in this forum 
> has many people who have knowledge about 
> mathematics software . that's why i want to ask 
> them if they can make some comparison between most
> wide spread mathematics software (free or commercial) 
> and to recommend those that they think is better or best
> and if it is possible for that software to interact with scheme 
> or to support scheme programming style. 
> for example maxima makes very good impression (how not - it is written in lisp )

First, the word "mathematical software" means several kinds of software. 
Two of the most commonly referred are computer algebra 
system(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_algebra_system), and 
numerical analysis software (such as Matlab). You need to decide whether 
you need algebra computation or not first. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_software is a good start place.

Next it is time to ask how much functionality you want and the price 
that you can afford. Normally commercial ones are more actively 
developed (thus have more feature and recent technology) and better 

When it comes to "interact with Scheme", then (I suppose you want a 
computer algebra system here) there is Maxima/Axiom/Mathematica/JACAL 
for choice (please remind me if there is more). Maxima and Axiom are 
writtem in Lisp. I don't know much about Axiom. Maxima can interact with 
(Common) Lisp quite well. But actual development of both has been a stop 
for 15 years (or more). http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/~jaffer/JACAL 
<http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/%7Ejaffer/JACAL> is a personal project (even 
not listed on the wikipedia CAS list). It is the only CAS I know that is 
written in Scheme. I wrote the PLT-Mathematica interface, and the 
details are at http://www.cs.utah.edu/~czhu/SchemeLink/ If what you want 
is a actively developed CAS and Scheme interaction, this is the choice 
to go.

> and second is there available mathematics teaching software 
> for examle in Maple (11 or someting) ther are tutorials 
> which get an expression and explain what exactly happens during solution 
> unfortunately there are much more to want from these maple tutorials 
> perhaps there are better somewhere ?  
Commercial CASs like Maple/Mathematica have that.
> thanks 
> best regards 


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