We are holding a workshop at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, April 14-17, 2018, focused on creating new packages for Macaulay2 — an open source computer algebra system — by bringing together developers and users of all skill levels and experience. The goals of this workshop are:

This event is organized by Juliette Bruce, Daniel Erman, Steven Sam, and Jay Yang. Computer algebra is an essential part of modern research in commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, number theory, and applied algebra. There are many computer algebra systems (CoCoA, Macaulay2, Magma, Risa/asir, Sage, Singular), but Macaulay2 is one of only two developed and funded within the United States (Sage is the other), and Macaulay2 has been especially important for homological computations.

Macaulay2 is open source, with many of its functionalities developed by users in the form of packages. This packge-based model has proven incredibly successful, as it allows Macaulay2 to be driven by the needs of its users, and to continually adapt to changing research trends within these fields. These workshops are the foundation for this model: developing new packages is challenging and technical, and having easy access to expert coders has been essential in yielding the large number of high-quality, well documented packages that are now essential to Macaulay2's expanding functionality.

This meeting will also be unique among Macaulay2 workshops, because it will aim to incorporate local participants from number theory and applied algebra, which have not been traditional foci of Macaulay2's development. But Wisconsin has a large number of researchers in number theory and applied algebra, several of whom are familiar with Macaulay2, and this presents an opportunity for Macaulay2 to develop capabilities that will be useful to those communities.