[linux-elitists] Tuesday 10 May 2005 Lisp NYC: Tim Daly on the Large Computer Algebra System Axiom
Thu May 5 20:23:06 PDT 2005
Tim Daly, head of the Axiom Project, will address Lisp NYC, starting at
1900 hours, Tuesday 10 May 2005, in Trinity Lutheran Church, at Ninth Street
and Avenue B on the Island of the Manahattoes.
See below my signature for meeting details and directions.
Axiom is a large, serious, old growth computer algebra system.
Axiom is free software and almost all of Axiom's source code has been
converted to "literate code". Much of Axiom's base programming system is
Axiom has been in development since 1971. At that time, it was called
Scratchpad. Scratchpad was a large, general purpose computer algebra system
that was originally developed by IBM under the direction of Richard
Jenks. The project started in 1971 and evolved slowly. Barry Trager was key
to the technical direction of the project. Scratchpad developed over a 20
year stretch and was basically considered as a research platform for
developing new ideas in computational mathematics. In the 1990s, as IBM's
fortunes slid, the Scratchpad project was renamed to Axiom, sold to the
Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) in England and became a commercial
system. As part of the Scratchpad project at IBM in Yorktown Tim Daly
worked on all aspects of the system and eventually helped transfer the
product to NAG. For a variety of reasons it never became a financial
success and NAG withdrew it from the market in October, 2001. Open Source
NAG agreed to release Axiom as free software, under this license. The basic
motivation was that Axiom represents something different from other
programs in a lot of ways. Primarily because of its foundation in
mathematics the Axiom system will potentially be useful 30 years from
now. In its current state it represents about 30 years and 300 man-years of
research work. To strive to keep such a large collection of knowledge alive
seems a worthwhile goal.
Tim Daly on one of the central problems of computerdom:
My goal isn't to solve physics/math problems. My goal is to build a system
that will be used by computational mathematicians 30 years from now. Once
this is the stated goal several things become clear.
This is from a proper rant, to be found at
For the official Lisp NYC announcement, including directions to the
gathering place, see below.
Jay Sulzberger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.
what="official Lisp NYC announcement">
From: Heow Eide-Goodman <email@example.com>
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: 03 May 2005 15:42:54 -0400
Please join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, May 10th from 7:00
to 9:00 at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Timothy Daly, published author, academic researcher, open source
programmer and lead developer of Axiom will be presenting about his role
as the driving force behind Axiom. With over 70 developers and 200
researchers worldwide it can best be described as:
Axiom is a general purpose Computer Algebra system. It is useful
for research and development of mathematical algorithms providing
a very high level way to express abstract mathematical concepts.
The Axiom Library defines over 1,000 strongly-typed mathematical
domains and categories.
Axiom consists of an interpreter and compiler, a browser, a graphical
interface, and a new online wiki that allows users to create web pages
that inline computations.
Axiom is built upon Common Lisp.
For more Axiom information:
Directions to Trinity:
602 E. 9th St. & Ave B., on Thomkins Square Park
From N,R,Q,W (8th Street NYU Stop) and the 4,5 (Astor Street Stop):
Walk East 4 blocks on St. Marks, cross Thomkins Square Park.
From F&V (2nd Ave Stop):
Walk E one or two blocks, turn north for 8 short blocks
From L (1st Ave Stop):
Walk E one block, turn sounth for 5 short blocks
The M9 bus line drops you off at the doorstep and the M15 is near get
off on St. Marks & 1st)
To get there by car, take the FDR (East River Drive) to Houston then
go NW till you're at 9th & B. Week-night parking isn't bad at all,
but if you're paranoid about your Caddy or in a hurry, there is a
parking garage on 9th between 1st and 3rd Ave.
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