What is Axiom?
Axiom is an open-source computer algebra system developed by IBM researchers headed by Richard Jenks. It used to be called “Scratchpad” back in 1973 when it was first developed. Later in the 1990s it was acquired by NAG or Numerical Algorithms Group of England, which gave the name “Axiom” to this software. The first versions from NAG were released commercially but did not become financially successful. And so Axiom was later offered as a freeware for the benefit of future users of the system.
Axiom was developed with the thought that its features should be useful to mathematicians in the future. Certain guidelines were made to achieve this type of philosophy. Axiom needed to be documented well for future generations and that algorithms should undergo valid proofing technology. Axiom is said to be very useful in mathematical algorithms in terms of their research and development.
The Axiom system comes with its own programming language (A#) and also has a compiler built-in to it. It also has an interpreter environment plus a library for mathematical hierarchy. Inside this interpreter environment, Axiom allows the use of heuristic algorithm and type inference and features a very interactive help or support system via a feature called “HyperDoc”, which has features similar to a browser. Axiom is also able to show 2D or 3D images and graphics with some interactivity features like lighting and rotation effects. Axiom’s development also gained some support from CAISS or Center for Algorithms and Interactive Software and today many experts are continuing work on it to make it a better system. Researchers continue to find ideas and solutions to make Axiom a useful tool in teaching by improving the user interface, making standard protocols for the algebra server, integrating logic programming and mathematical features, and through making of Axiom journals with approved submissions.