About this book
In symbolic computation on computers, also known as computer algebra, keyboard and display replace the traditional pencil and paper in doing mathematical computations. Interactive computer programs, which are called computer algebra systems, allow their users to compute not only with numbers, but also with symbols, formulae, equations, and so on. Many mathematical computations such as differentiation, integration, and series expansion of functions, and inversion of matrices with symbolic entries, can be carried out quickly, with emphasis on exactness of results, and without much human effort. Computer algebra systems are powerful tools for mathematicians, physicists, chemists, engineers, technicians, psychologists, sociologists, ... , in short, for anybody who needs to do mathematical computations. Com puter algebra systems are indispensable in modern pure and applied scien tific research and education. This book is a gentle introduction to one of the modern computer algebra systems, viz., Maple. Primary emphasis is on learning what can be done with Maple and how it can be used to solve (applied) mathematical problems. To this end, the book contains many examples and exercises, both elementary and more sophisticated. They stimulate you to use Maple and encourage you to find your way through the system. An advice: read this book in conjunction with the Maple system, try the examples, make variations of them, and try to solve the exercises.
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