# Simplifying Expressions with Octave

## Brandon Rozek

March 9, 2017

Octave is a high level programming language intended for numerical computations. One of the cool features of this is that with symbolic expressions, you can then simplify mathematical expressions.

## Setup

First install Octave and the symbolic package using the website or your package manager of choice.

Then in octave type in the following code

pkg load symbolic


## Usage

For every variable not defined earlier in your expression, make sure to declare it as a symbolic data type

syms x y

Then make an expression


expr = y + sin(x)^2 + cos(x)^2


You can then ask Octave to simplify the expression for you


simp_expr = simplify(expr)


Displaying it shows it as

(sym) y + 1

Which is indeed a simplification using a trig identity 🙂