I gave an introduction to sage tutorial at the University of Warwick Computational Group seminar today, 2 November 2017. Below is a conversion of the sage/jupyter notebook I based the rest of the tutorial on. I said many things which are not included in the notebook, and during the seminar we added a few additional examples and took extra consideration to a few different calls. But for reference, the notebook is here.
I will also note that I converted the notebook for display on this website using jupyter’s nbconvert package. I have some CSS and syntax coloring set up that affects the display.
Good luck learning sage, and happy hacking.
Sage (also known as SageMath) is a general purpose computer algebra system written on top of the python language. In Mathematica, Magma, and Maple, one writes code in the mathematica-language, the magma-language, or the maple-language. Sage is python.
But no python background is necessary for the rest of today’s guided tutorial. The purpose of today’s tutorial is to give an indication about how one really uses sage, and what might be available to you if you want to try it out.
I will spoil the surprise by telling you upfront the two main points I hope you’ll take away from this tutorial.
- With tab-completion and documentation, you can do many things in sage without ever having done them before.
- The ecosystem of libraries and functionality available in sage is tremendous, and (usually) pretty easy to use.
Let’s first get a small feel for sage by seeing some standard operations and what typical use looks like through a series of trivial, mostly unconnected examples.
# Fundamental manipulations work as you hope 2+3
You can also subtract, multiply, divide, exponentiate…
>>> 3-2 1 >>> 2*3 6 >>> 2^3 8 >>> 2**3 # (also exponentiation) 8
There is an order of operations, but these things work pretty much as you want them to work. You might try out several different operations.
Sage includes a lot of functionality, too. For instance,
-1 * 2^4 * 3^2 * 7
[(2, 4), (3, 2), (7, 1)]
In the background, Sage is actually calling on pari/GP to do this factorization. Sage bundles lots of free and open source math software within it (which is why it’s so large), and provides a common access point. The great thing here is that you can often use sage without needing to know much pari/GP (or other software).
Sage knows many functions and constants, and these are accessible.