non-credit course
In 1968, Robert Risch, using abstract algebra, solved a centuries-old problem in mathematics - given an elementary function f(x), can its integral be written as another elementary function F(x)? Risch's technique either finds the integral or proves that it doesn't exist. Refined and improved, it has found its way into computer programs like MAXIMA, Mathematica, AXIOM, and MAPLE, to name a few. Unfortunately, calculus is still taught the "old way" - after presenting a hodgepodge of techniques (integration by parts, trigonometric substitutions, change of variables) the student is basically told, "now if you really want to solve an integral, you use a computer." This class teaches how the computer does it, not through massive approximation or exhaustively checking thousands of integrals, but in a framework that may ultimately define how computers will be used in twenty-first century mathematics - hard theorems, tight proofs, solid math.
Abstract Algebra (MATH 403) helpful but not required
This class could be seen as a "Calculus II+" in the sense that it continues trying to answer the basic question of second-semester calculus - how to "do" an integral. The approach is heavily algebraic, but I'll try to introduce the needed abstract algebra concepts as we go.
We have no textbook as such, partly because I know of no single text that covers all of this material. By the end of the class, we'll be into various research papers. These are my main references:
Geddes, Czapor, Labahn, "Algorithms for Computer Algebra" (1992). ISBN 0-7923-9259-0
Lectures will be conducted using a tablet computer and LCD projector to do all the math. The computer's screen and classroom audio will be recorded, converted to MPEG-4 (DivX) and posted, typically within 24 hours. All recorded material is public domain; no rights reserved; copying and redistribution freely permitted. DivX players are available from divx.com; video iPods may also be capable of playing these videos.
Links to the MPEG-4 AVI files are slotted into the (continually revised) syllabus as they become available.
1 week - Introduction
31 Jan 2006 (192 MB)
2 Feb 2006 (197 MB)
Partial fractions expansion.
27 Apr 2006 (165 MB)
Problem Set #3
Polynomial factorization. Berlekamp's factorization algorithm (maybe). Square-free/splitting factorizations. Algebraic extensions. Factorization in algebraic extensions (maybe). Resultants.
Thurs May 11 - Last class