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Symbolic Computation

Symbolic Computation

Symbolic computation is considered by some to be one of the most complicated math subjects to understand. Symbolic computation relates to using machines such as computers to perform mathematic equations. The concept can be a bit vague and hard to grasp, so many different types of software have been developed and many tutorials are available to help people understand how symbolic computation works.

Introductory Reading

  • Common Lisp: Full text of Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation written by David S. Touretzky of Carnegie Mellon University. It comes with free software too!
  • SACNet: Homepage of the Symbolic Mathematical Computation Information Center, it provides a lot of information on symbolic computation.
  • Analytic Symbolic Computation: Discusses how analytic symbolic computation works.
  • Symbolic Computation Resources: A list of links for people looking to understand symbolic computation and how it’s used.

Conferences & Workshops

  • University of Penn: The official page for the University of Pennsylvania’s NFS Workshop on Symbolic Computation.
  • 2009 SCSS Conference: Provides detailed information about the Symbolic Computation in Software Science workshop occurring in 2009.
  • Waterloo Conference Page: A page put together by the Symbolic Computation Group with information about previous conferences and workshops as well as upcoming ones.
  • RIACA Projects: Some projects of the Research Institute for Applications of Computer Algebra.
  • Kyoto Conference 2009: Has information about the upcoming conference occurring from August 5th to August 9th of 2009 in Kyoto, Japan.

Journals & Articles


  • Maxima: A system for computer-based algebra developed by a Texas college. Free to use.
  • Age Verification: Shows how symbolic computation is used to help design systems and age verification systems as well.
  • MathCad: A program that mathematicians all over the world use because it’s easy to learn and extremely powerful.
  • Wolfram Mathematica: A program that is known for its coherence and reliability. Used for many mathematical projects.
  • Maple13: A very popular company that is used by mathematicians worldwide. They create a variety of systems including those capable of performing symbolic computation.
  • Motorola MC35: Barcode scanner and software that uses a complex computational algorithm.
  • MuPAD: Leading software for performing algebraic and symbolic computation tasks. Users who upgrade to Pro are allowed access to additional information.
  • MathToolbox: A program designed exclusively for manipulating symbolic computation expressions and performing them.
  • GINAC: Another system that is fully capable of handling symbolic computations.
  • Mathworks: Offers many different types of mathematical systems capable of performing symbolic computations.

Just learning about symbolic computation really tells you how much math can affect everything in the world, from barcode printers to computer systems.