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Maxima (software)

wxMaxima screenshot
Developer(s) Macsyma group at Project MAC and volunteer contributors
Initial release 1982 (1982)
Stable release 5.37.2 / 17 September 2015 (2015-09-17)
Development status Active
Written in Common Lisp
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Mathematical software
License GPL
Website .net.sourceforgemaxima

Maxima is a computer algebra system based on a 1982 version of Macsyma. It is written in Common Lisp and runs on all POSIX platforms such as OS X, Unix, BSD, and Linux as well as under Microsoft Windows and Android. It is free software released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.


  • History 1
  • Features 2
    • Numeric calculations 2.1
  • Interfaces 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Maxima is based on a 1982 version of Macsyma, which was developed at MIT with funding from the United States Department of Energy and other government agencies. A version of Macsyma was maintained by Bill Schelter from 1982 until his death in 2001. In 1998, Schelter obtained permission from the Department of Energy to release his version under the GPL. That version, now called Maxima, is maintained by an independent group of users and developers. Maxima does not include any of the many modifications and enhancements made to the commercial version of Macsyma during 1982–1999. Though the core functionality remains similar, code depending on these enhancements may not work on Maxima, and bugs which were fixed in Macsyma may still be present in Maxima, and vice versa.


Maxima includes a complete programming language with ALGOL-like syntax but Lisp-like semantics. It is written in Common Lisp, and can be accessed programmatically and extended, as the underlying Lisp can be called from Maxima. It uses Gnuplot for drawing.

Numeric calculations

Maxima is a full-featured CAS (computer algebra system) that specializes in symbolic operations but it also offers numerical capabilities[1] such as arbitrary-precision arithmetic: integers and rational numbers which can grow to sizes limited only by machine memory, and floating point numbers whose precision can be set arbitrarily large ("bfloats").

For calculations which use floating point and arrays heavily, Maxima offers the possibility of generating code in other programming languages (notably Fortran) which may execute more efficiently.

Maxima is a general-purpose system, and special-case calculations such as factorization of large numbers, manipulation of extremely large polynomials, etc. are sometimes better done in specialized systems.


Various graphical user interfaces are available for Maxima:

  • wxMaxima is a graphical front-end using wxWidgets.
  • Jupyter Is a flexible, notebook-style gui for maxima written in Python.
  • GMaxima is one using GTK+.
  • Cantor, using Qt, and can interface with Maxima (along with Sage, R, and Kalgebra)[2]
  • The GNU TeXmacs and LyX mathematical editor programs can be used to provide an interactive GUI for Maxima, as can Sage. Other options include the Imaxima front end, as well as an Emacs and Xemacs interaction mode which is activated by Imaxima.
  • Kayali[3]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • wxMaxima, GUI for Maxima
  • port 6667 channel#maxima
  • Maxima 10 Minute Tutorial
  • The HTML Maxima Manual in English
  • Tutorial, tips and tricks using Maxima.
  • Introduction to Maxima for Economics, a comprehensive maxima tutorial suitable for anyone using linear algebra or calculus.
  • Maxima by example, a "second-reading" tutorial for the serious Maxima user.
  • wxMaxima for Calculus I and II An open text on wxMaxima for single variable calculus.
  • dynamicalsystems, collection of several Maxima programs to create various graphical representations of discrete dynamical systems and fractals
  • Short list of useful examples
  • comparison of Maxima vs. MuPAD, includes a very long list of examples. Somewhat outdated.
  • imaxima, Emacs front end that includes typesetting.
  • (Japanese) Various plotting examples
  • A Maxima-Gnuplot interface, drawing examples
  • (German) angeom.mac Analytische Geometrie mit wxMaxima
  • (French) The SYM package for Maxima
  • (Portuguese) Dynamical Systems textbook at the University of Porto (Portugal), with examples in Maxima
  • DragMath, an open-source online equation editor that can export Maxima, and other formats.
  • The STACK, computer aided assessment system.
  • Maxima on Android, a version of Maxima for Android mobile devices
  • Running Maxima online:
    • from "Centro de Supercomputación de Galicia"
    • A web browser implementation of Maxima
    • Use Maxima in a web browser without downloading any software
    • Maxima online Web interface for Maxima
    • Caascade Computation-as-a-Service
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