are there any plans to embed advanced Symbolic Math functions (comparable to those available on Mathematica, MATLAB or Sage), for operations such as manipulation on symbolic matrices (e.g., to solve linear systems or diagonalize certain non-numeric matrices)? I am not aware whether the LAPACK package currently allows that, but it would be great if something like that could be implemented within IGOR (right now I am mainly using Sage to diagonalize matrices).
We have no plans to add such functionality to IP7 and we can't discuss plans beyond this horizon.
IGOR is not an environment for symbolic math manipulation so certain architecture issues have to be addressed if we want to handle this. LAPACK is a numerical library so it does not support symbolic work. I'm not familiar enough with Matlab but my impression was that Matlab did not support symbolic manipulation.
There are many applications where symbolic math is useful and many where I find it less than helpful. You can get perfectly correct and elegant symbolic expressions that are completely useless for numerical evaluation because of stability and accuracy issues. If your ultimate goal is to obtain a symbolic expression then by all means use a program that manipulates symbolic equations. If, on the other hand, you are working with numerical matrices then it is not clear that you would gain much by performing more of the computation analytically.
With the little that I understand, I wonder whether sage lends itself to being called from within Igor using an ExecuteScript method?
J. J. Weimer
Chemistry / Chemical & Materials Engineering, UAHuntsville
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