# 5.6 Symbolic computation

In mathematics, we see more than numbers and numeric vectors and matrices. Polynomials are used in many disciplines, though they do not have a native Python implementation. In a polynomial, we use an “indeterminate” symbolically without requiring a numeric value. For example,

The computer science discipline that deals with these and more advanced mathematical objects is called “computer algebra” or “symbolic mathematical computation.” [AXM]

The **sympy** package implements symbolic computation tools,
and its documentation showcases its broad functionality. It is not part of the Python Standard
Library, so you must install it via a command from the operating system command line:

`pip install sympy`

Several examples give you an idea of what **sympy** can do.

We first define an indeterminate symbol *x* and a polynomial *p*.

`import sympy...`