the sac newsletter
Number 1, November 1996.

Ongoing European Projects in Computer Algebra

The OpenMath Project

John Abbott

RIACA, Computer Algebra Nederland
Technical University of Eindhoven
P.O. Box 513, 5600MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)

The OpenMath project is now almost 3 years old. It began with a workshop in Zurich in December 1993. The main purpose of the project is to devise a complete protocol for the inter-process transmission of mathematical data and commands in such a way that meaning is always preserved. During the first year a preliminary analysis of the task facing OpenMath was completed, and its results published in the Objectives Report [OMobj]. Amongst other things that analysis produced a list of primary design goals, and a layered model to facilitate further, more detailed study; these have formed the foundations upon which all the subsequent work in OpenMath has been based.

More recently efforts have turned towards experimentation to supplement the detailed theoretical analysis that has followed on from the Objectives report as a number of questions remained unanswered. Several prototypes have already been built, tested, and the design of OpenMath altered according to the results. Some of the prototypes have also been demonstrated at the MEGA'96 conference, and also at the most recent OpenMath workshop in July 1996.