Jeroen Demeyer on Sun, 12 Feb 2006 14:02:01 +0100

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Re: x^n + x^n

cino hilliard wrote:
x^n+x^n gives

(04:00) gp > x^n+x^n
 ***   gpow: need integer exponent if series valuation != 0.

Maple gives



The reason is that Maple is a different kind of program. PARI/GP is really just a fancy calculator, it does not know about symbolic expressions like x^n. However, it can work with polynomials and power series, which can act somewhat like symbolic expressions. For example,
(x + 1)^2 will give what you expect: x^2 + 2*x + 1.

Maple on the other hand, can really do symbolic manipulations, so it really treats x^n as "x to the power n". I don't have Maple here, but I suppose you could differentiate x^n and get nx^(n-1) as the answer.

The upshot of this is that PARI/GP is really specialized on the mathematics, so it is much faster than Maple for mathematical computations (factoring a large number for example).

This is the idea, I'm sure someone else can explain better.

Jeroen Demeyer