A computer symbolic algebra system.

## Basics

I’m all about open-source tools, as a rule. Mathematica is not that. But the fact remains that the best table of integrals that exists is Mathematica, that emergent computation of the cellular automaton that implements Stephen Wolfram’s mind. I should probably work out what else it does, while I have a their seductively cheap student-license edition chugging away.

### Pros

- Magickal calculus engine. It gives you all the integrals you can eat, but at great cost to your soul.
- Built-in latex editor

### Cons

- It’s a weird language, with horrible default scoping (Cross-document namespace pollution? Really?)
- Even as probably the most popular computer algebra system, just not
*that*popular. Ergo, weak community.

## Tips

The substitution operator is
`/.`

which is terrible to search for.
The help easiest to find under the alias `ReplaceAll`

.

`{x, x^2, y, z} /. x -> 1`

Typing weird symbols is easy; just use the combination of `Esc`

and autocomplete.

## Links

Here are some links that I have found useful.

- James J. Kelly’s Essential Mathematica for Students of Science