Summary: Some Thoughts About the Use of Computer
Algebra Systems in University Teaching
Department of Mathematics
National University of Singapore
At the moment, the use of computers in mathematical research and teaching is
getting a lot of attention. Many mathematicians seem to have caught a "computer
virus". Computers can be as addictive as alcohol to mathematicians, and a lot
of us seem to think that computers are a panacea for both research and teaching.
The bureaucrats prefer spending money on buying equipment rather than hiring
people, and the vendors of the computer algebra systems bombard us with evan-
gelism. The result is that a lot of people, especially outsiders, seem to envision
that mathematicians will soon be made redundant by computers.
But computer algebra systems have their fair share of problems, too. First of
all, there are intrinsic limitations to what these programs can do. For a discussion