MACSYMA is an automated mathematical assistant used by scientists and engineers to solve equations, to integrate, differentiate, factor, and generally to manipulate symbolically many types of mathematical expressions. The mathematical knowledge possessed by MACSYMA is reflected in its 200,000-word LISP program which is growing as new algorithms are developed. Among the major new algorithms developed by the group are algorithms for indefinite integration and factorization of polynomials.
Professor Paul S.H. Wang of the Mathematics Department, has developed algorithms for MACSYMA in the areas of definite integration, factorization of polynomials and manipulation of sparse matrices. He is also interested in the application of symbolic systems in higher mathematics instruction.
Automatic Programming involves the generation of high-level, e.g., PL/1, programs by programs embedded with knowledge specific to a problem domain, such as inventory control, given very high-level descriptions of the desired program's function. This research is aimed at reducing the substantive and rising costs of software design production and maintenance.
Natural language understanding has defied previous attempts based largely on syntactic analysis of sentences and word lookup. Professor Martin and his research team have developed a programming system called OWL that makes possible the structuring of domain specific knowledge. The meaning of typed English sentences in a domain is extracted by programs written in OWL through both syntactic and, significantly, semantic analyses against the structured knowledge base.
Professors Martin and Szolovits discuss artificial intelligence aspects of natural language and medical decision problems with members of the AI Lab.
Ellen Lewis combines her secretarial services with programming expertise and is well-known by MACSYMA users around the country.