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Is there any math formula reduction tools?

for example convert:

$\frac{a(a+1)}{2a}$

to:

$\frac{a+1}{2}$

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Actually, it should be $(a+1)/2$, not $a+1/2$, since $a+1/2$ means $a+(1/2)$. –  Michael Hardy Oct 8 '11 at 14:49
1  
Actually that's only true if you assume that $a\neq0$. –  FUZxxl Oct 8 '11 at 14:52
3  
Another way of putting Michael's comment: parentheses are cheap. Use them when there is a potential source of ambiguity. –  J. M. Oct 8 '11 at 14:53

2 Answers 2

Mathematica has the command FullSimplify, for example. One can use it for free on WolframAlpha; here it is in action simplifying $\frac{a(a+1)}{2a}$ into $\frac{a+1}{2}$.

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Is there any desktop software or plugin? –  ARZ Oct 8 '11 at 16:09
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matlab can do this, by using sym method. –  ofer Oct 8 '11 at 16:23
    
There are both mobile apps and widgets: products.wolframalpha.com –  Raphael Oct 12 '11 at 10:35

Two more ideas (free software for the desktop):

  1. Maxima: a widespread free symbolic-math software; can even be configured to simplify wrt special trigonometric expressions (I use this if I have complicated expressions, derivatives and/or integrals)
  2. (examples like yours above can even be handled by Pari/GP; but is not specialized on symbolic expressions and can simplify polynomial/series expressions, and -but only to a very small extent- rational functions. Likely not what you want)
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+1 for Maxima, let's add link: maxima.sourceforge.net –  leonbloy Oct 12 '11 at 13:19

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