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Mathematica combines the recent decades of the computer revolution with the previous few centuries of mathematical research, fulfilling the original goal of the early computer pioneers: to do mathematics by computer...

Over 2000 years ago, Archimedes (287-212 BC) found formulas for the surface areas and volumes of solids such as the sphere, the cone, and the paraboloid. His method of integration was remarkably modern considering that he did not have algebra, the function concept, or even the decimal representation of numbers.

Leibniz (1646-1716) and Newton (1642-1727) independently discovered calculus. Their key idea was that differentiation and integration undo each other. Using this symbolic connection, they were able to solve an enormous number of important problems in mathematics, physics, and astronomy.

Fourier (1768-1830) studied heat conduction with a series of trigonometric terms to represent functions. Fourier series and integral transforms have applications today in fields as far apart as medicine, linguistics, and music.

Gauss (1777-1855) made the first table of integrals, and with many others continued to apply integrals in the mathematical and physical sciences. Cauchy (1789-1857) took integrals to the complex domain. Riemann (1826-1866) and Lebesgue (1875-1941) put definite integration on a firm logical foundation.

Liouville (1809-1882) created a framework for constructive integration by finding out when indefinite integrals of elementary functions are again elementary functions. Hermite (1822-1901) found an algorithm for integrating rational functions. In the 1940s Ostrowski extended this algorithm to rational expressions involving the logarithm.

In the 20th century before computers, mathematicians developed the theory of integration and applied it to write tables of integrals and integral transforms. Among these mathematicians were Watson, Titchmarsh, Barnes, Mellin, Meijer, Grobner, Hofreiter, Erdelyi, Lewin, Luke, Magnus, Apelblat, Oberhettinger, Gradshteyn, Ryzhik, Exton, Srivastava, Prudnikov, Brychkov, and Marichev.

In 1969 Risch made the major breakthrough in algorithmic indefinite integration when he published his work on the general theory and practice of integrating elementary functions. His algorithm does not automatically apply to all classes of elementary functions because at the heart of it there is a hard differential equation that needs to be solved. Efforts since then have been directed at handling this equation algorithmically for various sets of elementary functions. These efforts have led to an increasingly complete algorithmization of the Risch scheme. In the 1980s some progress was also made in extending his method to certain classes of special functions.

The capability for definite integration gained substantial power in Mathematica, first released in 1988. Comprehensiveness and accuracy have been given strong consideration in the development of Mathematica and have been successfully accomplished in its integration code. Besides being able to replicate most of the results from well-known collections of integrals (and to find scores of mistakes and typographical errors in them), Mathematica makes it possible to calculate countless new integrals not included in any published handbook.


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