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Sage Beginner's Guide

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Sage Beginner's Guide, 9781849514460 (1849514461), Packt Publishing, 2011

Results matter, whether you are a mathematician, scientist, or engineer. The time that you spend doing tedious mathematical calculations could be spent in more productive ways. Sage is an open-source mathematical software system that helps you perform many mathematical tasks. There is no reason to compute integrals or perform algebraic manipulations by hand when software can perform these tasks more quickly and accurately (unless you are a student who is learning these procedures for the first time). Students can also benefit from mathematical software. The ability to plot functions and manipulate symbolic expressions easily can improve your understanding of mathematical concepts. Likewise, it is largely unnecessary to write your own routines for numerical mathematics in low-level languages such as FORTRAN or C++. Mathematical software systems like Sage have highly optimized functions that implement common numerical operations like integration, solving ordinary differential equations, and solving systems of equations.

Sage is a collection of nearly 100 mathematical software packages, which are listed at http://www.sagemath.org/links-components.html. When possible, existing tools are integrated into Sage, rather than duplicating their functionality. The entire collection of tools can be downloaded and installed as a binary distribution or compiled from source code. The Python language provides a unified interface to all of the packages. Python is a high-level, interpreted, object-oriented programming language that is already well established in the research community. Users can interact with Sage through an interactive command-line interface or a graphical notebook interface. Sage can also be used as a Python library or embedded in LaTeX documents. Sage is "officially" available for recent versions of OS X, Linux, Solaris, and Open Solaris. It runs on Windows with the help of a virtual machine and it can be used on other platforms, with varying degrees of support. A current list of all the available platforms can be found at http://wiki.sagemath.org/SupportedPlatforms.

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