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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GAP is a system for computational discrete algebra, with particular emphasis on Computational Group Theory. GAP provides a programming language, a library of thousands of functions implementing algebraic algorithms written in the GAP language as well as large data libraries of algebraic objects. GAP is used in research and teaching for studying groups and their representations, rings, vector spaces, algebras, combinatorial structures, and more. GAP is developed by international cooperation. The system, including source, is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License. You can study and easily modify or extend GAP for your special use. The current version is GAP 4, the older version GAP 3 is still available.

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LinBox is a C++ template library for exact, high-performance linear algebra computation with dense, sparse, and structured matrices over the integers and over finite fields. LinBox has the following top-level functions: solve linear system, matrix rank, determinant, minimal polynomial, characteristic polynomial, Smith normal form and trace. A good collection of finite field and ring implementations is provided, for use with numerous black box matrix storage schemes.

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Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, and vectors, matrices, and tensors. Maxima produces high precision results by using exact fractions and arbitrarily long floating point representations, and can plot functions and data in two and three dimensions.

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