Maxima is a full-featured CAS (computer algebra system) and it includes a complete programming language written in Common Lisp, and can be accessed programmatically and extended, as the underlying Lisp can be called from Maxima. It uses Gnuplot for drawing.

This tutorial is an extension of one that is posted on the APMA 0330 website. You, as the user, are free to use the files to your needs for learning how to use the Maxima program, and have the right to distribute this tutorial and refer to this tutorial as long as this tutorial is accredited appropriately.


This tutorial is meant as an introduction to the computer algebra system Maxima and wxMaxima based on a 1982 version of Macsyma, which was developed at MIT with funding from the United States Department of Energy and other government agencies. A version of Macsyma was maintained by Bill Schelter from 1982 until his death in 2001. In 1998, Schelter obtained permission from the Department of Energy to release his version under the GPL. That version, now called Maxima, is maintained by an independent group of users and developers. Maxima does not include any of the many modifications and enhancements made to the commercial version of Macsyma during 1982–1999. Though the core functionality remains similar, code depending on these enhancements may not work on Maxima, and bugs which were fixed in Macsyma may still be present in Maxima, and vice versa.

This is a tutorial made solely for the purpose of education. The tutorial accompanies the textbook Applied Differential Equations. The Primary Course by Vladimir Dobrushkin, CRC Press, 2015; Reference

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