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Axiom has been in development since 1971. At that time, it was called Scratchpad. Scratchpad was a large, general purpose computer algebra system that was originally developed by IBM under the direction of Richard Jenks. The project started in 1971 and evolved slowly. Barry Trager was key to the technical direction of the project. Scratchpad developed over a 20 year stretch and was basically considered as a research platform for developing new ideas in computational mathematics. In the 1990s, as IBM's fortunes slid, the Scratchpad project was renamed to Axiom, sold to the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) in England and became a commercial system. As part of the Scratchpad project at IBM in Yorktown Tim Daly worked on all aspects of the system and eventually helped transfer the product to NAG. For a variety of reasons it never became a financial success and NAG withdrew it from the market in October, 2001.

Open Source

NAG agreed to release Axiom as free software, under this license. The basic motivation was that Axiom represents something different from other programs in a lot of ways. Primarily because of its foundation in mathematics the Axiom system will potentially be useful 30 years from now. In its current state it represents about 30 years and 300 man-years of research work. To strive to keep such a large collection of knowledge alive seems a worthwhile goal.

You can find source code, binaries files and more documentation for Axiom at http://www.axiom-developer.org/

Development Emphasis

Efforts are underway to extend this software to:

  • develop a better user interface
  • make it useful as a teaching tool
  • develop an algebra server protocol
  • integrate additional mathematics
  • rebuild the algebra in a Literate Programming style
  • integrate logic programming
  • develop an Axiom Journal with refereed submissions.

The version of Axiom that is used on this page was built from source code on:

Value = "FriCAS 1.3.7 compiled at Wed Jun 30 16:44:06 UTC 2021"

Try before you "Buy"

Axiom is free, however it is a large and fairly complex program with a significant learning curve. Before you invest a lot of time installing and configuring Axiom, why not try it right here first? There are many examples and screenshots available for you to review and you can try out Axiom online!


OpenAxiom - a fork of the Axiom project created by Gabriel Dos Reis on August 13, 2007 starting from the build-improvements branch of Axiom. A major difference from the original Axiom project is the focus on shorter-term goals: "It aims at being the open source computer algebra system of choice for research, teaching, engineering, etc." Other differences include the use of a GNU autoconf-style build environment, continued improvement of the BOOT development language and SPAD library compiler and rejection of Knuth-style literate programming methodology as the preferred method of documentation. http://www.open-axiom.org

FriCAS - a fork of the original Axiom project created by Waldek Hebisch on July 9, 2007 from the wh-sandbox branch of Axiom. It is based on the same initial work of Gaby Dos Reis on the Axiom build system as but focuses on improvements to the Algebra bootstrap process, the hypertex browser and algebra bug fixes. Like OpenAxiom, this project aims at rapid improvement and bug fixing of Axiom on a large number of different systems. It also favors adding alternative user interfaces such as Sage. http://groups.google.com/group/fricas-devel/web

List of Axiom Contributors

The following is a fairly complete list of people who have contributed to the development of Axiom over it's long history. If you know of anyone who you think should be on this list but is not, please let us know. It is our intention to update this list frequently.

Many of these people are still actively involved with Axiom. Some however have already passed beyond these mortal concerns and we can only silently thank them for this wonderful legacy!

An alphabetical listing of contributors to AXIOM (to October, 2006): Cyril Alberga Roy Adler Christian Aistleitner Richard Anderson George Andrews Henry Baker Stephen Balzac Yurij Baransky David R. Barton Gerald Baumgartner Gilbert Baumslag Fred Blair Vladimir Bondarenko Mark Botch Alexandre Bouyer Peter A. Broadbery Martin Brock Manuel Bronstein Florian Bundschuh Luanne Burns William Burge Quentin Carpent Robert Caviness Bruce Char Cheekai Chin David V. Chudnovsky Gregory V. Chudnovsky Josh Cohen Christophe Conil Don Coppersmith George Corliss Robert Corless Gary Cornell Meino Cramer Claire Di Crescenzo Timothy Daly Sr. Timothy Daly Jr. James H. Davenport Jean Della Dora Gabriel Dos Reis Michael Dewar Claire DiCrescendo Sam Dooley Lionel Ducos Martin Dunstan Brian Dupee Dominique Duval Robert Edwards Heow Eide-Goodman Lars Erickson Richard Fateman Bertfried Fauser Stuart Feldman Brian Ford Albrecht Fortenbacher George Frances Constantine Frangos Timothy Freeman Korrinn Fu Marc Gaetano Rudiger Gebauer Kathy Gerber Patricia Gianni Holger Gollan Teresa Gomez-Diaz Laureano Gonzalez-Vega Stephen Gortler Johannes Grabmeier Matt Grayson James Griesmer Vladimir Grinberg Oswald Gschnitzer Jocelyn Guidry Steve Hague Vilya Harvey Satoshi Hamaguchi Martin Hassner Waldek Hebisch Ralf Hemmecke Henderson Antoine Hersen Pietro Iglio Richard Jenks Kai Kaminski Grant Keady Tony Kennedy Paul Kosinski Klaus Kusche Bernhard Kutzler Larry Lambe Frederic Lehobey Michel Levaud Howard Levy Rudiger Loos Michael Lucks Richard Luczak Camm Maguire Bob McElrath Michael McGettrick Ian Meikle David Mentre Victor S. Miller Gerard Milmeister Mohammed Mobarak H. Michael Moeller Michael Monagan Marc Moreno-Maza Scott Morrison Mark Murray William Naylor C. Andrew Neff John Nelder Godfrey Nolan Arthur Norman Jinzhong Niu Michael O'Connor Kostas Oikonomou Julian A. Padget Bill Page Susan Pelzel Michel Petitot Didier Pinchon Jose Alfredo Portes Claude Quitte Norman Ramsey Michael Richardson Renaud Rioboo Jean Rivlin Nicolas Robidoux Simon Robinson Michael Rothstein Martin Rubey Philip Santas Alfred Scheerhorn William Schelter Gerhard Schneider Martin Schoenert Marshall Schor Frithjof Schulze Fritz Schwarz Nick Simicich William Sit Elena Smirnova Jonathan Steinbach Christine Sundaresan Robert Sutor Moss E. Sweedler Eugene Surowitz James Thatcher Balbir Thomas Mike Thomas Dylan Thurston Barry Trager Themos T. Tsikas Gregory Vanuxem Bernhard Wall Stephen Watt Jaap Weel Juergen Weiss M. Weller Mark Wegman James Wen Thorsten Werther Michael Wester John M. Wiley Berhard Will Clifton J. Williamson Stephen Wilson Shmuel Winograd Robert Wisbauer Sandra Wityak Waldemar Wiwianka Knut Wolf Clifford Yapp David Yun Richard Zippel Evelyn Zoernack Bruno Zuercher Dan Zwillinger

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