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Scratchpad was a large, general purpose computer algebra system developed at IBM. Developement was started around 1965 by J. Griesmer with creation of Lisp system. Later, Richard Jenks joined Scratchpad team and became director of the project.

Like M&M (Maple and Mathematical) and other systems today, Scratchpad had one principal representation for mathematical formulae based on "expression trees". Its user interface design was based on a pattern-matching paradigm with infinite rewrite rule semantics, providing what we believe to be the most natural paradigm for interactive symbolic problem solving. Like M&M, however, user programs were interpreted, often resulting in poor performance relative to similar facilities coded in standard programming languages such as FORTRAN and C.

Scratchpad development stopped in 1976 giving way to a new system design called Scratchpad 2. New system reused parts of code from Scratchpad, but its design was quite different. Scratchpad 2 had a strongly-typed programming language for building a library of parameterized types and algorithms, and a type-inferencing interpreter that accesses the library and can build any of an infinite number of types for interactive use. Later for commercial purpose Scratchpad 2 was renamed to Axiom.

From: How to Make Axiom into a ScratchPad", Jenks and Trager, 1994.

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