Symbolic Computation Group

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Differentiating between Algebra and Analysis
James Davenport, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Friday, March 13, 2009, at U. of Western Ontario.


The derivative of a function at a point is defined as the slope, or more formally as the Cauchy Limit, and so on. But, when we actually calculate derivatives, we behave like a computer algebra system and push symbols around (Chain Rule, Product Rule etc.). This talk will claim that there are actually two theories of calculus, the analytic and the algebraic, with an interpretation that OFTEN works between them, and that the failures in the interpretation are interesting challenges for computerised mathematics.


Last modified on Sunday, 04 November 2012, at 15:42 hours.