# ~/Blog

## Brandon Rozek

PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

# Simplifying Expressions with Octave

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Warning: This post has not been modified for over 2 years. For technical posts, make sure that it is still relevant.

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 ðŸ™‚

Update: Octave’s symbolic is based on SymPy. If you’re confortable with Python, I recommend checking it out.