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MuPAD user’s manual. Multi-processing algebra data tool. MuPAD Version 1.2.2. Incl. 2 CD-ROM. (English) Zbl 0877.68069

Chichester: Wiley. Stuttgart: Teubner. xiv, 572 p. (1996).
During the past decade we have noticed a great development in the field of computer algebra. Several computer algebra systems (CAS) were developed and are now available either commercially, as shareware or public domain. Most of the available systems can run in different machines and operating systems and the computational power of these systems are quite amazing.
The multi-processing algebra data tool (MuPAD) is one of the most recent general purpose computer algebra systems that became available. It has been developed and mantained at the University of Paderborn, Germany. It can run in many different platforms and operating systems and is distributed free of charge for nonprofitable educational and scientific institutions through the internet. The MuPAD user’s manual for version 1.2.2 includes a compact disc for installation in different computers. Unfortunately it does not include the MS-Windows version. Nevertheless, it can be imported via FTP, from math-ftp.uni-paderborn.de:/pub/MuPAD. Although there are many CAS available, MuPAD has been designed in such way that we can profit from some features that are not included in most of the other CAS. In particular, MuPAD introduces facilities to define mathematical domains and structures that take advantage of parallelism.
The MuPAD manual starts with a short description about the system facilities, functionality and provides detailed informations on how to get and contact MuPAD software developers and technical support. A hands on practical interactive use of the system is provided through out a set of simple illustrative examples of MuPAD to solve standard mathematical operations like simple arithmetic, polynomial manipulation, derivatives, integrals, programming facilities and abstract types. The number of examples is rather small to actually provide the user with learning capabilities to use the system. MuPAD’s language and functionality are nicely and detailed presented in Chapter 2 of the manual. For each concept introduced an example is followed providing details on its practical application. As a computer algebra programming language, the user needs facilities to be confident that the program developed is syntactically correct for execution. For this purpose the system provides a debugger that is concisely described in Chapter 3 of the manual. Plotting is a very important feature of a CAS. The interface of MuPAD with a graphic system is fully described for 2D and 3D plot in Chapter 4. The graphical facilities provided by the system are illustrated by a set of examples. Additionally, the Appendix E shows how to use the commands to generate color plots. A set of color pictures is presented as results of ploting examples. In Chapter 5 the manual describes the MuPAD X-Windows and Macintosh interfaces. Unfortunately the manual does not have a section devoted to the interface of the system with MS-Windows, which is the most popular operating system currently available, although there is a MuPAD version for this operating system. Actually, it would be nice to have optionally included in the manual a CD distribution of MuPAD version for MS-Windows. Chapter 6 is devoted to a complete function and environment variables formal syntax description. Examples are given to illustrate the use of these functions. The manual includes additional technical details about the system in 7 appendices. The English edition of the MuPAD manual is a translation of the German one, but this is not perceived along the text as the clear writing promotes a very smooth reading. The manual is very well organized and includes a good contents list as well as an index, which supplies the user with a quick way to find out the topic of his own interest. The manual is certainly worthwhile to have as the key reference book for the users of the MuPAD computer algebra system.

MSC:

68W30 Symbolic computation and algebraic computation
68-00 General reference works (handbooks, dictionaries, bibliographies, etc.) pertaining to computer science

Software:

MuPAD
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