Mathematica: A system for doing mathematics by computer?

  • Bruno Buchberger
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 722)


The title of my talk coincides with the title of Stephen Wolfram's book on his Mathematica system except that in the title of my talk there is a question mark. The content of my talk is my personal answer to this question.

We start from analyzing what it means to do mathematics and introduce what we call the “creativity spirale in mathematics”: “Doing mathematics”, in my view, is iterating the cycle “observation — proof — programming — application”.

Our main point is that Mathematica supports well three passes of this spirale, namely “observation — programming — application” and it helps a little in some simple forms of proof. However, Mathematica does not yet seem to be the right setting for proving in the broad sense of the word as understood by the mathematics community. We give some arguments for this and develop some ideas how a future system for doing mathematics might look like.


Artificial Intelligence Simple Form Software Engineer Broad Sense Programming Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Buchberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Symbolic Computation (RISC)Johannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria

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