NETCA: UK Network in Computer Algebra  
Welcome to the NetCA website
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The Purpose of NetCA

Computer Algebra is important as a tool across the whole spectrum of Mathematics and its applications. It is also playing pivotal role in re-emphasizing the computational side of mathematics.

By its nature, computer algebra requires expertise in both mathematics and computer science. Young people with these talents and with good ideas are in demand throughout the world. This is true not only within academia, but also outside where they can command salaries well in excess of those available in British universities. In order to stand any chance of retaining enough of them, British academic institutions have to provide a well integrated community in the subject with a good programme for the development of young researchers.

Computer Algebra System(CAS)

A Computer Algebra system is a type of software package that is used in manipulation of mathematical formulae. The primary goal of a Computer Algebra system is to automate tedious and sometimes difficult algebraic manipulation tasks. The principal difference between a Computer Algebra system and a traditional calculator is the ability to deal with equations symbolically rather than numerically. The specific uses and capabilities of these systems vary greatly from one system to another, yet the purpose remains the same: manipulation of symbolic equations. Computer Algebra systems often include facilities for graphing equations and provide a programming language for the user to define his/her own procedures.

Computer Algebra systems have not only changed how mathematics is taught at many universities, but have provided a flexible tool for mathematicians worldwide. Examples of popular systems include Maple, Mathematica, and MathCAD. Computer Algebra systems can be used to simplify rational functions, factor polynomials, find the solutions to a system of equation, and various other manipulations. In Calculus, they can be used to find the limit of, symbolically integrate, and differentiate arbitrary equations.

Click here for history of Calculus and CAS.

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