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Engineering Applications of Symbolic Computing

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Journal / Anthology

Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing
Year: 1996
Volume: 6

Computer algebra, a long-time research tool, has been emerging as an engineering analysis and design aid. Along with the traditional computational facilities for numerical computation and graphics, its power of manipulating mathematical expressions has found its use in many applications in various branches of engineering. Symbolic computing can be employed at every stage of engineering design and analysis process. Its use caries from an interactive calculator with symbolic capabilities to an integrated analysis environment. In this paper, we are mainly concerned with the distinctive features of computer algebra and its potential in engineering analyses. The specific symbolic computing system under consideration is Mathematica. After classifying these distinguishing features and reviewing basic facilities of Mathematica, two advanced applications that are developed in this symbolic computing environment are briefly introduced. The first application is the Mechanical Systems Pack. This package is used for static, kinematic and dynamic design and inverse dynamics are also provided. Optica, the second pack, is a package for ray tracing and rendering of optical systems. Both simple and complex optical systems can be defined and analyzed with the Optica package. Finally, the impact of such tools on engineering processes is discussed. The maturity of Computer Algebra and the future directions for symbolic computing in technical applications are examined.

*Applied Mathematics
*Engineering > Mechanical and Structural Engineering
*Mathematica Technology > Application Packages > Wolfram Research Applications > MechanicalSystems