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RE: [Maxima] Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: FeynCalc -> MAXIMA

From: Stavros Macrakis
Subject: RE: [Maxima] Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: FeynCalc -> MAXIMA
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 10:55:20 -0400

> We need to keep the theory and the code together and have 
> each one explain the other. How else can you show that the 
> code does what it is intended to do?

That is a very hard problem in general.

Good algorithms (as opposed to naïve ones) are often connected to theory
in complicated ways -- just look at published algorithms.  Then the
practical implementation of the algorithm is often connected to the
published algorithm in complicated ways.

"Literate programming" is effective when the algorithm has a nice
hierarchical structure, but there are many tricks that good algorithm
designers and programmers use which don't fit well into that structure.
Some years ago, I participated in a conference on transformational
programming where Tarjan talked about this... it was humbling.

Personally, I think this is a fascinating area, but it really is a
research problem in itself.  So if your goal is solving physics/math
problems, I would recommend that you be pragmatic about how far you go
in trying to systematize the transition from theory to code.


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