# [Maxima] Solving an equation with integral

Rupert Swarbrick rswarbrick at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 04:20:47 CDT 2012

```Raymond Toy <toy.raymond at gmail.com> writes:
> I think having examples like this on the wiki would be very nice too.  I
> always learn a lot from examples like this, and such examples are easier
> for me to find on a wiki than on a mailing list with lots of other
> discussions.
>
> Ray

I suppose that the problem is how one might categorise them. Also, I'm
pretty certain that there are exactly two things that allow me to come
up with steps like this:

(1) I've used Maxima for some time, so I am sort of fluent with the
different simplification functions and know what is likely to do
what.

(2) I'm a maths PhD student and recently did an undergraduate maths
degree. Making sense of how to solve a problem like this does
require some knowledge of analysis. Being au fait with Taylor
expansions and when they do/do not work makes it easy to see what
"should happen".

Maybe we could come up with some "ratsimp training" Wiki pages, which
show how to use (say) expand, factor, gfactor, subst, ratsubst, ratsimp
to wrangle expressions in a useful way. I can definitely see that this
could make (1) easier to attain.

For (2), well I realise that I've got much less training in numerical
analysis and/or symbolic algebra than most of the people on this list
that answer questions. Those who ask them tend to be maths, physics or
engineering undergrads as far as I can tell. Some sort of "management of
expectations" could maybe help people realise when they are expecting
Maxima to do the impossible! (Or implausible, maybe).

I should have some time this weekend and it would be fun to collect up a
list as you suggest. I'll email Lyosha Beshenov for an account in a
minute. Any suggestions on how to format the results?

I was thinking something like:

---------------

How to [Do Something]
=====================

[Some background information along with a (possibly simplified)
statement of the problem]

[First thoughts: Is it reasonable to expect Maxima to solve this? How
might I make it easier]

[A solution]

[Things that don't work and why]

---------------

But maybe others have better ideas?

Rupert
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