Oberwolfach References on Mathematical Software

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The primary goal of 3D-XplorMath is to allow users with little or no programming experience to see, with minimal effort, concrete visual representations of many different categories of mathematical objects and processes. To accomplish this, objects from each category are described internally by well-designed, parameterized data structures, and for each category a variety of rendering methods is provided to permit visualization of objects of the category in ways that are appropriate for various purposes. Each of the hundreds of built-in objects known to the program is assigned carefully chosen defaults so that, when the object is selected from a menu, the program can immediately construct a standard example of the object and render it in an optimized view. The user may then use various menus and dialogs to alter the parameters describing the shape and coloration of the object, change the viewpoint from which it is seen, select different rendering methods, etc. Moreover, as its name suggests, the program can display objects such as surfaces, space curves and polyhedra using various stereo techniques. In addition to the many built-in objects known to the program, a user can create "user-defined" objects by entering formulas using standard mathematical notation. Visualizations created by the program can be saved in jpeg and other graphic formats and the data defining 3D objects can be exported to other 3D programs (e.g., Bryce or POV-Ray) in formats such as .obj and .inc. Both built-in and user-defined objects can depend on parameters, and the program can create morphing animations by moving along a path in the parameter space, and these animations can then be saved as QuickTime movies. Each of the built-in objects has associated to it a so-called ATO (About This Object) file that provides documentation for the object. An early and more developed version of the program, written in Object Pascal, runs under the Macintosh Operating System and a Java-based cross-platform version is now also available.

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CGAL is a collaborative effort of several sites in Europe and Israel. The goal is to make the most important of the solutions and methods developed in computational geometry available to users in industry and academia in a C++ library. The goal is to provide easy access to useful, reliable geometric algorithms The CGAL library contains: the Kernel with geometric primitives such as points, vectors, lines, predicates for testing things such as relative positions of points, and operations such as intersections and distance calculation, the Basic Library which is a collection of standard data structures and geometric algorithms, such as convex hull in 2D/3D, (Delaunay) triangulation in 2D/3D, planar map, polyhedron, smallest enclosing circle, and multidimensional query structures, the Support Library which offers interfaces to other packages, e.g., for visualisation, and I/O, and other support facilities.

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Cinderella is a software system for doing geometry on a computer. The new version Cinderella.2 also includes physics simulations and algorithmic elements.

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ePiX, a collection of batch-oriented utilities for *nix, creates mathematically accurate line figures, plots, and movies using easy-to-learn syntax. LaTeX and dvips comprise the typographical rendering engine, while ImageMagick is used to create bitmapped images and animations. The user interface resembles that of LaTeX itself: You prepare a short scene description in a text editor, then compile'' the input file into a picture. Default output formats are eepic (a plain text enhancement to the LaTeX picture environment), eps, pdf, png, and mng.

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Xeukleides is a frontend for editing and viewing figures described by the language Eukleides (which provides simple and powerful commands for creating elementary Euclidean geometry figures).

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