Monday, May 27, 2013

Sage announces 3 GSoC projects

Sage is pleased to announce three Google Summer of Code projects for 2013. They focus on speed improvements of symbolic functions, simplifying the distribution and installation procedure on Debian/Linux and ubiquitous accessibility of Sage on the Android platform.

Mathematical Functions Library

Eviatar Bach –  University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada
(Mentor: Flavia Stan, Backup: Burcin Erocal)

Sage interfaces with multiple third-party libraries, such as MPFR, GSL, GP/PARI, mpmath, and Maxima, for numerical evaluation of special functions. There are significant discrepancies between these backends in the performance for numerical approximations of the same expression. An initial benchmark reveals, for example, that calculating spherical_bessel_J(1, 5.2) with SciPy is over 100 times faster than with Maxima.

The project has the following goals:
  1. develop a benchmark framework to determine which backend should be used by default to evaluate a special function over a specific domain,
  2. create symbolic wrappers for all the special functions that can be evaluated numerically by a package included in Sage,
  3. create a data structure for generalized hypergeometric functions and extend the symbolic wrappers to obtain representations in terms of generalized hypergeometric functions when possible,
  4. implement closure properties for holonomic functions as a next step to improve the symbolic processing of special functions in Sage.

Overall improvement of the Sage Android application

Rasmi Elasmar
(Mentor: Volker Braun, Backup: Harald Schilly)

Although there are already some existing efforts, Sage is still not easily accessible from the Android platform. The Sage Cell client/server infrastructure is an already existing step towards running Sage on a server and communicating back the results. The aim of this proposal is to fix, improve and update the Sage Android application to include new features and functionality, as well as an improved interface for simpler and improved usability. Android's new "Holo" style, sharing of calculations and results, and much more waits to be realized on Android for Sage.

Get Sage ready for Linux distributions

Felix Salfelder – Goethe Universit├Ąt, Frankfurt, Germany
(Mentor: Tobias Hansen, Julien Puydt, Jeroen Demeyer & John Palmieri )

The aim of this project is to detach the build process of Sage ("the software") from Sage ("the distribution"). The goal is a build system that works within the context of Sage as well as for any GNU/Linux distribution that ships the dependencies for Sage. Distributions that already ship Sage packages or plan to do so are Fedora and Debian. This project is an important step towards making Sage packages in GNU/Linux distributions feasible.

Sage warmly welcomes all three new students and wishes them all the best to learn something new and make an impact in Sage's future developments!

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