Maxima manipulates numerical and symbolic expressions. This includes integrations, Laplace transforms, differentiation, ordinary differential equations, sets, lists, vectors and matrices among others. Maxima uses arbitrary precision integers, exact fraction and variable precision floating point numbers to produce high precision results. It can also produce data and functions in two or three dimensions. |
Those familiar with Macsyma will recognize Maxima, a direct descendant of that famous 1960's computer algebra system developed at MIT. Maxima is the only system that is based on Macsyma that is available to the public, thanks to its open source. There is a vibrant, active community of users.
wxMaxima, based on wxWidgets, is a cross platform GUI that provides easy access to the functions of Maxima via dialogs and menus. It uses its own math display engine for produce a two dimensional math display. You can access most of the Maxima commands through its menu system but most of them are also accessible via the button panel below the input line.
A distinct advantage of wxMaxima is that if you should require more than one argument for a command you can use dialogs rather than having to remember the exact syntax. You can create documents that combine calculations and text then save them an edit them later if you like.
You can also do simple animations with wxMaxima. New features include the ability to drag and drop files and Taylor and CRE annotations for output. You also have access to colors in pdfLaTeX export and can insert images into your documents to further enhance your presentations.
wxMaxima has also improved the styles section. Users can now take advantage of colors for all parts of a document such as the title; text cells can display different fonts and you can load and save styles in a file.