In my previous post, I introduced setting up Maxima, a powerful symbolic computation system, to work with Emacs. This post provides a real example of using Maxima.

I was motivated by this interesting post, introducing the use of Newton’s Law of Cooling in the ranking algorithm of Reddit. This post (in Chinese) explains more about the derivation of Newton’s Law. I believe the author is good at calculus. But how if you forgot calculus? In this case, Maxima would save you! The following figure illustrates how I use Maxima to derive the Law: