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Does Sage show steps to solving an equation?

asked 2011-03-31 22:32:55 -0500

Nanogear1014 gravatar image

updated 2011-05-05 08:38:09 -0500

Kelvin Li gravatar image

Like how mathematica has the trace function or wolframalpha has in their features? Sometimes wolfram alpha isn't able to show steps for certain problems. I feel this feature is important to me understanding and learning a problem.


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The way you solve a problem by computer and by hand is very different. Do you want something like Mathematica's `Trace` which only shows the (non-kernel) rules that Mma applies to an expression or do you want something like the "Show steps" in W|A that is an extra layer and a completely separate process to the way the underlying program works?

Simon gravatar imageSimon ( 2011-04-01 19:27:23 -0500 )edit

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answered 2011-04-01 13:22:36 -0500

Nanogear1014 gravatar image

Is there a way to put in a request for it? Is it possible for me alone to add an open-source thing that does it? What are the approaches/steps for a newbie like me to programming this feature?

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You can put in a request by opening a ticket on the Sage trac server As a fellow newbie, I think this might be a bit challenging to do yourself, even if there was another program out there that did exactly what you want and only had to be interfaced to. Not impossible, just time-consuming.

DSM gravatar imageDSM ( 2011-04-01 15:47:52 -0500 )edit

I agree with DSM on this. There is at least one free product that claims to do just this Though it's free as in beer, not as in speech, though, so at best one could add an interface to it to Sage, but it couldn't be distributed with Sage.

kcrisman gravatar imagekcrisman ( 2011-04-02 15:54:49 -0500 )edit

i could not get to work (or but has step by step work shown for high school level problems, i am still looking for an opensource version though for showing work for derivatives or indefinite integrals

bob_smith gravatar imagebob_smith ( 2012-11-06 13:44:03 -0500 )edit , and wolfram alpha

NT4MaximusD gravatar imageNT4MaximusD ( 2017-01-24 13:02:31 -0500 )edit

answered 2011-04-01 04:27:19 -0500

kcrisman gravatar image

No, this is not part of Sage. In theory it would be possible to implement, or to add an open-source thing that does this, but so far there has been little request for it.

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answered 2015-02-13 13:17:48 -0500

This is a far belated reply to this thread, but I would introduce this thought. Stepped output of any sort is really a philosophic question about SAGEs direction. While yes, SAGE is a wonderful hodge podge of CAS and other elements, it's not really in my mind a 'tool for checking homework'.

If one wishes to implement Stepped output for various calculations, the reason and roadmap would need to be clear, as this would be really time consuming (I've found that even wolfram alpha doesn't clearly demonstrate the order of operations in evaluating variously written expressions).

If a paid application, where resources are directly allocated to its development, isn't getting this entirely correct, then there are likely some hidden gotchas in displaying symbolic output. If you've ever written anything in LaTeX, you'll probably get what I mean by this.

Still, as a general idea of SAGEs direction, would SAGEs developers at UW wish to consider branching SAGEs platform into one which has features for educating in maths, etc? This would probably be an enormous project, but given Python is the primary underlying primitive and given dev time associated with projects (vs C based) , I wonder if development in this direction can be proposed, planned, and 'crowdsourced'.

It's kinda daring. But, SAGE is extraordinarily robust, and performs nicely for scientific computation (in fact, I think it would be worthy of a performance test in the Julia circles, given what very large components underlie SAGE). I think the 'extension' to various educational circles is worthy of consideration. I'm certainly willing to put my time into this. Thoughts?

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Asked: 2011-03-31 22:32:55 -0500

Seen: 2,690 times

Last updated: Feb 13 '15