[Maxima] gcd problem
macrakis at alum.mit.edu
Tue Feb 13 13:54:28 CST 2007
On 2/13/07, Richard Fateman <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Why do I feel this way about limits? Well, there are some other places
> where it is not just a fixnum silently becoming a bignum. For example,
> consider rat((x^n-1)/(x-1)) where n is a bignum. You have an answer with
> terms. What's wrong with this? Um, how much memory do you have??
It would certainly be nice if Maxima could warn you if a calculation was
going to run out of memory before completing or take an unreasonable amount
of time ("Ten months of calculation? Are you sure you want to do this,
Dave?") However, it seems completely arbitrary to cut things off at 2^31. I
am sure there are many calculations with n << 2^31 which are unreasonable,
and there are probably some for n >> 2^31 which are perfectly reasonable.
For that matter, 10 months may be a reasonable amount of time if the answer
is the meaning of the universe, but not if you're trying to optimize this
week's grocery shopping.
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