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Re: Showing intermediate steps in calculations

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  • Subject: [mg29051] Re: [mg29019] Showing intermediate steps in calculations
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <andrzej at>
  • Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 21:53:43 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I think you need a program especially designed for teaching or self
learning, which Mathematica  is not. Firstly what you call "intermediate
steps" are usually written in C an compiled, which makes their execution
much faster and there is no way you can get them without access to the
source code. But any case, the "intermediate" steps in a computer
computation may been entirely different from the "intermediate" steps a
human being would (or should) take. They would be of more interest in
someone interested in computer algebra programs than in algebra. In fact
human beings are still on the whole much smarter than computers and
learning to do solve mathematical problems the way a computer would do it is
unlikely to improve ones mathematical knowledge or skills.

Andrzej Kozlowski

Andrzej Kozlowski
Toyama International University

on 01.5.25 2:47 PM, Maarten D. de Jong at pleez.dont at rely.on.this.address

> I am writing this message on behalf of my father, who is having the following
> problem. He's working through various high-school and undergraduate books
> on algebra and calculus (out of fun and interest) and he meticulously
> writes down the answers to each problem he solves. He would like to do this
> on his computer, but after a bit of discussion, I discovered that any of
> the main symbolic math packages available do not solve his problem entirely.
> As far as I know, these programs take in the problem, and write out the
> answer, without showing intermediate steps and simplifications---and it is
> precisely this that my father wants to know about. Are there packages which
> show these steps? Or is it just a matter of turning on an option in the
> mainstream programs?
> Thanks for any help you can offer,
> Maarten

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