What is Sym?
Sym is a tool for working with symbolic content, it can be used both for creating and manipulating equations and used to
create documents that contain equations and other symbolic content.
Sym began as an experiment to see how much of the symbolic mathematics that's still done using paper and
pencil could be done faster and more accurately on a computer.
Why use Sym?
The reasons that someone might use Sym include:
- Sym contains a fast and flexible expression editor.
- Expressions look the way you expect them to look - the mathematical expressions look like mathematics, not command line text.
It's easy to manipulate expressions - just highlight a term in an expression and select a command. The most commonly used commands
have shortcut keys.
You can define your own mathematical objects and extend the functionality of existing objects. You can also control the way objects are rendered so that
the expressions you create look the way you want them to look.
The expressions created in Sym can be exported to other applications. Right now, there are exporters for LaTeX and HTML. These exporters can be customized to
meet whatever requirements you have. You can also create a completely new exporter.
Who would use it?
Sym is designed for anyone who needs to work with equations or other symbolic content: from beginning algebra, trigonometry, calculus and more advanced work.
How close is it to being released?
At this point, the "engine" that drives Sym is fully functional, but the libraries that implement the mathematics are still fairly limited.
The current libraries are more of an illustration of what's possible than a complete implementation.
Even so, you can still do many of the problems typical of a first year college calculus course. We are also working on libraries for the lambda calculus,
a units library for the physical sciences, and some beginnings of vector analysis. Beta versions of these libraries should be available soon.
What will it cost?
The beta version is free for everyone.
When we get do release a complete version of Sym, it will still be free to everyone in the academic community.
We intend to keep it that way permanently.
Users outside the academic world will be required to buy Sym, the final price hasn't been set yet.