# Learntofish's Blog

## Maxima – A free Computer Algebra System

Posted by Ed on May 17, 2009

Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) are programs that allow manipulating equations. That is their specialty lies in the ability to manipulate symbols. For example if I wanted to expand
$(x+y)^3$
the result would be
$(x+y)^3 = x^3 + 3 x^2 y + 3 x y^2 + y^3$
Maxima is such program and the best is that it is freely available.
If you want to determine the integral of
$(\text{sin}(x))^2$
then Maxima tell you
$\int (\text{sin}(x))^2 dx= \frac{x-\frac{\text{sin}\left( 2\,x\right) }{2}}{2}$
There is a very nice 10 minute tutorial on Maxima here.