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April 20, 2005


NEW YORK, April 20, 2005 – The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Center for Algorithms and Interactive Scientific Software (CAISS) will host a conference for scientists Friday, April 22, to demonstrate the power and scope of the mathematics software Axiom. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 95, Shepard Hall.

Among the speakers will be City College Mathematics Professor William Sit; Dr. Jesus Cruz (Unversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico); Dr. Richard Fateman (University of California Berkeley) and two of Axiom’s developers, Camm Maguire and William Page. Dr. Maria Tamargo, Dean of CCNY’s Division of Science, will offer welcoming remarks.

The one-day conference will be preceded by a “Sprint Day” on Thursday, April 21, in Room 278, Shepard Hall, devoted to defining future directions and a marathon programming session in the CAISS Open Software Lab.

Axiom is a general-purpose computer algebra system used for research and development of mathematical algorithms. The Axiom language provides a very high-level way to express abstract mathematical concepts that are collected in the Axiom library, which defines over 1,000 strongly typed mathematical domains and categories. It was developed by IBM and released as open source software by the Numeric Algorithm Group (NAG) of England.

According to Dr. Gilbert Baumslag, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at CCNY and the director of CAISS, NAG gave permission to Timothy Daly, a senior researcher at CAISS and a Research Associate in CCNY's Computer Science Department, permission to release Axiom to the mathematical and scientific community as open source, making a powerful computer algebra system available for free to the community as a whole.

However, the version given to Mr. Daly was incomplete and required a great deal of work, which was undertaken in large measure by Mr. Daly and a host of other computer
scientists around the world.

The Axiom conference sponsors are Dr. Joseph Barba, CCNY Acting Dean of Engineering, and Dr. Maria Tamargo, Dean of Science, with support from the National Science Foundation. CUNY Chancellor Dr. Matthew Goldstein and City College Provost Zeev Dagan provided additional funding.

The conference was organized by: Dr. Baumslag, Mr. Daly, Professor Gretchen Ostheimer (Hofstra University); Bernice Ravitz, deputy director of CAISS; Professor Sit and Professor Douglas Troeger.



CAISS is an outgrowth of the New York Group Theory Cooperative, the famous New York Group Theory Seminar and the group-theoretical software package MAGNUS, which was developed at CCNY. The Cooperative has been supported by over $1.5 million dollars in grants from the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the Swiss National Foundation, CCNY and Chancellor Goldstein.

CAISS members include researchers from CUNY institutions and the Graduate Center, Switzerland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Canada, Russia and Australia. Their focus includes the design of reusable software to facilitate scientific computation and research, new graphical user interfaces, applications of mathematics to cryptography and electronic communication, and the further development of Axiom.

For more information about the Axiom conference, please call CAISS at (212) 650-5167 or visit