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Maxima and computer algebra use in STACK

STACK uses the computer algebra system (CAS) Maxima. We have also provided some background to CAS in general.

Computer algebra systems are most often designed for either the research mathematician, or the student to do calculations. For the purposes of assessment our calculation establish some relevant properties of the students' answers. Establishing properties in this way, and on the basis of this creating outcomes such as feedback, is something particular to assessment systems. Such properties include things like

  • is the expression algebraically equivalent to the correct answer?
  • is the expression fully simplified?
  • is the expression written a particular conventional form, (e.g. factored, partial fraction)?
  • are all the numbers in the expression written as fractions in the lowest terms?

We assume a certain amount of knowledge about Maxima when writing STACK questions.

Tutorials for STACK users

  • Basic information on using Maxima with STACK.

A graphical Maxima interface like wxMaxima can also be very helpful for learning Maxima syntax and function names.

Reference material on Maxima in STACK

Information on specific mathematical topics are found below

Developer information, and other topics


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