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Mathematica (Definition)

Mathematica is a computer algebra system produced by Wolfram Research. The first publically available version, 1.0, came out in 1988, the most recent, 5.2, in 2005. Although primarily intended for algebraic and arithmetic computations, Mathematica is also capable of text manipulation and graphics.

The standard installation provides a kernel that does the work of performing the computations requested by the user and a front-end that displays the input and output; the two communicate using "MathLink." Wolfram provides an API for using a different kernel or front-end.

The standard front-end can execute commands whether they are written as they would in a programming language (e.g., “Sqrt[Pi^e]”) or typeset using the palettes (e.g., “ $ \sqrt{ \pi ^e}$”).

Error messages are usually given in blue text but do not require clearance by a special key (as they would in a stand-alone calculator). Division by zero gives the error message “Power::infy: Infinite expression $ \frac{1}{0}$ encountered” and the result “ComplexInfinity”. $ 0^0$ gives the error message “Power::indet::Indeterminate expression $ 0^0$ encountered” and the result “Indeterminate”. In some contexts Mathematica will attempt to guess what kind of result the user wants for these infinite or indeterminate expressions, such as when taking certain limits.

Unix and Linux installations include a command-line front-end that can only accept commands in the former)

Like Maple, Mathematica has its own field in the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

Official website


S. Wolfram The Mathematica Book, 4th Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1999): 3.1.8

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"Mathematica" is owned by Mravinci. [ full author list (5) | owner history (1) ]
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Cross-references: On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, field, Maple, limits, indeterminate, infinite, division by zero, calculator, language, kernel, arithmetic, algebraic, computer algebra system
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This is version 5 of Mathematica, born on 2006-10-31, modified 2007-02-03.
Object id is 8499, canonical name is Mathematica.
Accessed 521 times total.

AMS MSC68W30 (Computer science :: Algorithms :: Symbolic computation and algebraic computation)

Pending Errata and Addenda
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forum policy
TeX just pisses me off sometimes by CompositeFan on 2006-11-01 11:01:25
Is it possible at all to include some simple, uncomplicated typewriter (like, you know, <tt> blah, blah, </tt>) in Tex?
[ reply | up ]
Mathematica and Maple by CWoo on 2006-10-31 18:35:05
Are these entries appropriate on PM? These two titles clearly refer to the popular commercial products for doing math and, although they are clearly related to mathematics, they are not mathematical entities themselves... (lack of formal definitions, etc...).
[ reply | up ]

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