A new "function wizard" Maple facility:
Towards a computer handbook of mathematical functions.
Edgardo Cheb-Terrab, MITACS - CECM
The computational capabilities of the Maple system concerning special functions are evolving rapidly. The typical requirement concerning math functions, however, is not just computational: typically, one also needs information on identities, relations, alternative definitions, and mathematical properties in general. We usually look for that information in handbooks like Abramowitz & Stegun etc. It is clear however that most of this information found in textbooks is already in the internal Maple subroutines since the computational capabilities implemented rely on that information. This leads naturally to the idea of a "function wizard" project, whose main purpose is to make / keep the mathematical information complete and provide access to each piece of it through a simple interface. Also, such a "computer algebra handbook of mathematical functions" can naturally provide more information than that conveyed in textbooks: it can respond to each request by processing whatever (growing number of) math information using (a growing number of) mathematical algorithms. The function wizard project is presently under development and this talk presents a demo of the first prototype with basic functionality already in place.