**Maxima** is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors. Binaries available for Windows or Linux.

**Apparently this is an advanced mathematical tool like Mathworks Matlab. (But it's FREE: instead of costing you $1900 like Matlab!)****Note: this is just the "Math Engine" part and it is pretty much useless without a Maxima GUI (either Xmaxima or WxMaxima) program to use it with. Bummer.****OK: I'm officially scared of this thing already!**

Move along Folks: Nothing to see here!Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors.

About Maxima

Maxima is a descendant of DOE Macsyma, which had its origins in the late 1960s at MIT. It is the only system based on that effort still publicly available and with an active user community, thanks to its open source nature. Macsyma was the first of a new breed of computer algebra systems, leading the way for programs such as Maple and Mathematica. This particular variant of Macsyma was maintained by William Schelter from 1982 until he passed away in 2001. In 1998 he obtained permission to release the source code under GPL. It was his efforts and skill which have made the survival of Maxima possible, and we are very grateful to him for volunteering his time and skill to keep the original Macsyma code alive and well. Since his passing a group of users and developers has formed to keep Maxima alive and kicking. Maxima itself is reasonably feature complete at this stage, with abilities such as symbolic integration, 3D plotting, and an ODE solver, but there is a lot of work yet to be done in terms of bug fixing, cleanup, and documentation. This is not to say there will be no new features, but there is much work to be done before that stage will be reached, and for now new features are not likely to be our focus.

What license is Maxima under?

It is licensed under GPL and hosted at SourceForge.net.

Downloading Maxima

Maxima can be download from the http://maxima.sourceforge.net/download.html, which will redirect to sourceforge.net download page. It is available in Windows and Linux binaries as well as in source code form.

General

Who’s maintaining it now?

Since William Schelter’s passing a group of users and developers has formed to keep Maxima alive and kicking. We are currently in a transitional state, deciding what directions to go in next and seeing what our abilities and resources are. Maxima itself is reasonably feature complete at this stage, with abilities such as symbolic integration, 3D plotting, and an ODE solver, but there is a lot of work yet to be done in terms of bug fixing, cleanup, and documentation. This is not to say there will be no new features, but there is much work to be done before that stage will be reached, and for now new features are not likely to be our focus.

Is it free?

Yes. Maxima is distributed under the GNU General Public License, with some export restrictions from the U.S. Department of Energy.

I’m teaching a course using maxima. Can I post a copy of Maxima to a local webserver for my students to easily download?

Yes you can distribute Maxima, provided you keep the copyright notice intact.

Who wrote it?

Maxima is a descendant of DOE Macsyma, which had its origins in the late 1960s at MIT. It is the only system based on that effort still publicly available and with an active user community, thanks to its open source nature. Macsyma was the first of a new breed of computer algebra systems, leading the way for programs such as Maple and Mathematica. This particular variant of Macsyma was maintained by William Schelter from 1982 until he passed away in 2001. In 1998 he obtained permission to release the source code under GPL. It was his efforts and skill which have made the survival of Maxima possible, and we are very grateful to him for volunteering his time and skill to keep the original Macsyma code alive and well.

Macsyma vs. DOE-Macsyma vs. Symbolics Macsyma vs. Maxima?

The system developed at MIT was called Macsyma (although the nicknames MACSYM and MAXIMA were sometimes used since filenames were limited to six uppercase-only characters in sixbit character code).

Symbolics licensed Macsyma from M.I.T. and registered ”Macsyma” as a trademark at some point (presumably with M.I.T.’s permission).

When Macsyma source ceased to be freely available, pressure was put on M.I.T. (mostly by Fateman) to transfer the code which had been developed largely with Department of Energy (DOE) funding to the DOE, which then released it to others under certain conditions.

That codebase was called DOE Macsyma. I don’t know what legal rights the DOE had to the name Macsyma as opposed to the codebase, but presumably the non-commercial users of DOE Macsyma wanted to avoid any legal wrangling around the name, and started using the name Maxima at some point (but I don’t know when that was).

So the short answer as I understand it is that Maxima is simply the most recent name for the branch that started under the name DOE Macsyma.

**That's right: If you can get this program and its partner program running you could save $1,900 on Matlab! Or search Santa's Site for Sage or SciLab.****http://maxima.sourceforge.net/ **