Problem 3E

Why might an integral found in a table differ from the same integral evaluated by a computer algebra system?

Why might an integral found in a table differ from the same integral evaluated by a computer algebra system?

Answer

sometimes a CAS may not know how to integrate a particular function, sometimes it may integrate incorrectly, and other times it may give the answer in a strange form which does not match the answer we would expect. We illustrate with an example.

Example

Use your calculator to evaluate

The calculator gives back

which means it does not know how to integrate this function.