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[Axiom-developer] ISSAC and CAFE trip report

From: root
Subject: [Axiom-developer] ISSAC and CAFE trip report
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 14:52:04 -0400

> I believe that you were recently in Europe for the subject meetings
> and that you may have discussed open source Aldor with Steven Watt
> and others while at the meeting.
> Is there any progress to report on making Aldor available as open
> source and/or as an integral part of the Axiom project?

Yep. Stephen and Mike Dewar are discussing the license details.
Stephen has been away in a series of conferences and had not yet
returned home so there was no progress in the last 2 weeks. But
conversations are happening.

> Did you distribute the DoyenCD while at the conference? If so was
> there much interest in this format?

I gave out 100 copies of the CD as well as 10 copies of the
tutorial. And I had long, detailed conversations with virtually
everyone I knew at the conference (roughly 20 people, all the old
timers) and some I didn't know. Mostly pushing literate programming.

I want the next ISSAC CD to be a Doyen CD. I helped to make the ISSAC
CD for the last three years. I think we need to get a demo version
running by december if we're to have a hope of replacing the static

Several points arose. I claim that this isn't a science if we cannot
build on each other's work. In computational math it is not sufficient
to show an algorithm in a paper. In that case I have to write a program
to implement your algorithm before I can modify it to improve it. Thus
I'm forced to start from nothing rather than build on your work.

Plus I don't feel that complexity proofs are valid without the code.
People argue things like "my algorithm is O(n^2) over the Integers".
But my computer does not have Integers, it has fixnums and bignums.
If the coefficients become bignums then an O(n^2) algorithm becomes
at least O(n^3) or worse.

And, of course, this literate programming solution to keeping the
research and the code together got a lot of voice-time. 

I had a conversation with Carlo Traverso, head of the math dept at
Univ. of Pisa. He gave a talk at Calculemus the day before detailing
literate programs being submitted to an "Active Journal". He gave me
all of his implementation source code and slides which I'll be adding
to the Doyen CD. Carlo is working to create an Active Journal for
this field so people can submit their literate research for review.

I also picked up some information about how to get a drag-and-drop
interrupt in javascript. Now I have to make a demonstration page.

I met Ralf Hemmecke and he showed me the details of his ALLPROSE
work. Very nice. We should certainly follow his lead for doing
literate programming his way. And he showed it to Emil, the ACM
contact, so Ralf could get some mileage out of a paper that could
be presented next year.

Renaud gave me some patches for Fedora Core 5 and I rebuilt and
tested Axiom. 

Xin Li could potentially rewrite the Axiom Tutorial into Chinese.

Xin Li has an FFT implementation which I'll be adding to the system
in the near future. Mark Moreno Maza (his advisor) is a major
advocate of Axiom at ORCCA (Ontario Research Center in Computer
Algebra, in Canada).

I took another step in documenting the algebra code and a little
more study in the proviso area.

We might finally have permission to use Manuel Bronstein's algebra
code. There is only one step left and it should complete shortly
(in principle). This will mean a lot of work for me but it's the
only way to keep Manuel's work alive.

I spoke to some people from Maplesoft about including Maple code
on the Doyen CD so drag-and-drop would work.

ISSAC used to have a track about systems but I didn't see any
system presentations this year. This is computational math but
I only see Maple at the conference. Prior years would have shown
many systems.

Barry Trager worked with someone who had a Groebner basis issue
that neither Maple nor Singular could sufficiently solve. He
showed that Axiom could do the problem in a reasonable amount
of time.

William Sit has done some work with a person from Rutgers that
looks very interesting.

I spoke to a person who has worked with Bertfried Fauser on 
Clifford Algebra and Hopf Algebra. He would like to see the
algorithms in Axiom.

> Do you have any other comments about the meetings that might be
> relevant to Axiom?

I saw an interesting input format (a matrix written with elided
entries that you see in textbooks). There was a paper that showed
how to handle that format. I think Axiom could handle this input
format easily.

I want to work with Sage/GAP/Singular/CoCoA on the Doyen front. We
need to expand Doyen (and probably the Axiom Wiki) to handle these

There were a lot of algorithms presented by I'm never going to
get them implemented. It would take too long.

> Did anyone else on this list attend?

Ralf and Renaud were there. Possibly others but not that I remember.
But I have a very bad memory.


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