Introduction
21
Figure 1.5.
more. Of course, computer algebra requires some getting used to. But so did the
calculator (and the slide rule even more so!). But the gains are extensive. Once the
basic syntax is mastered and a core set of commands, much can be accomplished.
Furthermore, it is not necessary to learn everything in these software packages.
They are meant to be tools for a variety of disciplines. The present book illustrates
the type of tools they provide which are useful for the economist. By allowing
computer software to carry out the tedious manipulations – whether algebraic or
numeric – allows concentration to be directed towards the problem in hand.
Both
Mathematica
and
Maple
have the same basic structure. They are composed
of three parts:
(1)
a
kernel
, which does all the computational work,
(2)
a
front end
, which displays the input/output and interacts with the user,
and
(3)
a set of
libraries
of specialist routines.
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 Fall '11
 Dr.Gwartney
 Economics, Computer program, Slide rule

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