## SageMath: An Open-Source Alternative to Mathematica & Maple.

Image Source: *https://www.ima.umn.edu/press-room/sagemath-coding-workshop*

Many of you may be familiar with programs such as Maple & Mathematica, which are considered to be CAS: “Computer Algebra Systems” with features covering many aspects of mathematics, such as Algebra, Calculus, Number Theory, Number Analysis, Statistics and Combinatorics. It is quite common to find these programs utilized in some upper level University Mathematics classes and are often taught alongside the python coding language as part of one’s Mathematics/Physics/Computer-Science Degree.

As it turns out, During my physics Degree I will eventually be learning computational Methods using Python, and even sooner than that, I will be using either Maple or Mathematica to accompany my multivariable calculus classes so of course I considered getting a head start and learning a bit on my own; The problem is that both Mathematica and Maple can be pricey (as some of you may have already noticed), and it is times like these that we need open-source alternatives: Enter SageMath!

Created by William Stein, a Mathematician from the University of Washington in 2005, SageMath (Previously SAGE: an abbreviation for “System for Algebra and Geometry Experimentation”) was created as an Open-source alternative to Maple, Mathematica, MATLAB and Magma, and from what I have observed so far, it has much of the same functionality as it’s paid predecessors along with the unique advantage of having been programmed in the powerful and simple language of Python (is it any wonder why I seemed to be biased in learning Python?).

Not only is SageMath free and versatile, but it also comes in two flavours: Downloadable console and web browser application. You can download SageMath HERE and tinker with the console, or if you prefer to just use it in a web browser and make use of visuals, you can Visit Cocalc.com and just as easily get started! Whichever you prefer. there is a great tutorial that will get you started with SageMath which assumes you have no coding experience (so it is a great way to learn some python at the same time). The tutorial is by MCC Py Tutorials and it is a great launching point into the world of Mathematics-based software and technical computing.

Best of Luck & Happy Coding!