Sage at the NSF-CDI+ECCAD conferences

This is a very quick view of some highlights of the conference http://www4.ncsu.edu/~kaltofen/NSF_WS_ECCAD09_Itinerary.html. I think further details of the talks will appear on the conference webpage later. This is very incomplete – just a few thought I was able to
jot down correctly.

Panel discussion:
Q1: What are the grand challenges of symbolic computing?
Is the term “symbolic computation” to broad? (Hybrid symbolic/numerical, algebraic geometric computation, algebraic combinatorial/group-theoretical, computer proofs, tensor calculations, differential, mathematical knowledge/database research, user interfaces, …)

General ans: No. Hoon Hong points out that user interfaces are lower level but below to the same group.

Q2: How can the latest algorithmic advances be made readily available: google analog of problem formulation? (Idea: suppose someone has a clever idea for a good algorithm but not enough discipline to implement it …)

One answer: Sage can put software together – is this the right way? Analog of stackoverflow.com?

Q3: What is the next killer app for symbolic computation? (Oil app of Groebner bases, cel phone app, robotics, …)

Q4: Can academically produced software such as LAPACK, LINBOX, SAGE compete with commercial software?

Hoon Hong answer: Yes but why? Why not cooperate. Support Sage very much but more research on interfaces and integration of different systems could lead to cooperation of the commercial systems with Sage.

Another panel:
Q: What are the spectacular successes and failures of computer algebra?

Failures:
(a) Small number of researchers.
(b) Sage could fail from lack of lies with the symbolic/numerical community (as Maxima/Axiom did). Matlab may fail due to uphill battle to integrate Mupad into good symbolic toolbox. (Many voiced view that Matlab is strong because of its many toolboxes, on the panel and privately.)
(c) Education at the High School level using CA.
(d) Presenting output of CA intelligently and in a standard format.
(e) Failure to teach people how to properly use a CA system.

Successes:
(a) Sage – interesting new effort (with caveat above)
(b) Groebner bases, LLL.

My talk on Sage raised a lot of questions. My There is both strong support for Sage and some questions on its design philisophy. My page 6 at http://sage.math.washington.edu/home/wdj/expository/nsf-eccad2009/
was a source of lots of questions.

At ECCAD http://www.cs.uri.edu/eccad2009/Welcome.html, Sage was mentioned a few times in talks as well as in some posters. The “main” Sage event was a laptop software demo Which Karl-Dieter Crisman set up for Sage.

Overall, a good experience for Sage.

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