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.