by Antonio Cisternino, Adam Granicz, Don Syme

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CHAPTER 12

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Symbolic Programming with Structured Data

Symbols are everywhere. Numbers are symbols that stand for quantities, and you can add, multiply, or take square roots of numbers that are so small or large that it’s hard to imagine the quantity they represent. You can solve equations, multiply polynomials, approximate functions using series, and differentiate or integrate numerically or symbolically—these are just a few everyday examples of using symbols in mathematics.

It would be a mistake to think symbols are useful only in mathematics and related fields. General problem-solving can’t do without symbols; they provide the ability to abstract ...

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