## STACK Documentation

Documentation home | Category index | Site map# Maxima and computer algebra use in STACK

STACK uses the computer algebra system (CAS) Maxima and a graphical desktop interface like wxMaxima can be helpful for off line editing, including a STACK-Maxima sandbox for testing question code on the desktop.

Computer algebra systems are most often designed for either the research mathematician, or the student *to do calculations*. For the purposes of assessment our calculation *establish some relevant properties* of the students' answers. Establishing properties in this way, and on the basis of this creating outcomes such as feedback, is something particular to assessment systems. Such properties include things like

- is the expression algebraically equivalent to the correct answer?
- is the expression fully simplified?
- is the expression written a particular conventional form, (e.g. factored, partial fraction)?
- are all the numbers in the expression written as fractions in the lowest terms?

## Maxima in STACK

- Predicate functions, which are useful to test expressions.
- Numbers, including floating point and complex numbers.
- Simplification can be switched on and off in Maxima.
- Inequalities.
- Matrices and vectors.
- Statistics.
- Randomly generated objects.
- Plots and graphics.
- Buggy rules implements rules which are not always valid!

## Developer information, and other topics

- Setting up a STACK-Maxima sandbox for testing code on the desktop.
- Optimising Maxima.

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