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Title: Computer algebra systems in R Authors:  Mikkel Meyer Andersen - Department of Mathematical Sciences Aalborg University (Denmark)
Soeren Hoejsgaard - Aalborg University (Denmark) [presenting]
Abstract: R's ability to do symbolic mathematics is largely restricted to finding derivatives. There are many tasks involving symbolic math that are of interest to R users, e.g. inversion of symbolic matrices, limits and solving non-linear equations. Users must resort to other computer algebra systems (CAS) for such tasks, and many R users(especially outside of academia) do not readily have access to such software. There are also other indirect use cases of symbolic mathematics in R that can exploit other strengths of R, including Shiny apps with auto-generated mathematics exercises. We maintain two R-packages that enable symbolic mathematics in R: Ryacas and caracas. Ryacas is based on Yacas (Yet Another Computer Algebra System), and caracas is based on SymPy (Python library). Each has its advantages: Yacas is extensible and has a close integration to R, which makes auto-generated mathematics exercises easy to make.SymPy is feature-rich and thus gives many possibilities. We will discuss the two packages and demonstrate various use-cases, including uses that help to understand statistical models of Shiny apps with auto-generated mathematics exercises.