Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Mark Fels

Second Advisor

Ian Anderson

Third Advisor

Zhi Q. Wang


Lie algebras are invaluable tools in mathematics and physics as they enable us to study certain geometric objects such as Lie groups and differentiable manifolds. The computer algebra system Maple has several tools in its Lie Algebras package to work with Lie algebras and Lie groups. The purpose of this paper is to supplement the existing software with tools that are essential for the classification of simple Lie algebras over C.

In particular, we use a method to find a Cartan subalgebra of a Lie algebra in polynomial time. From the Cartan subalgebra we can compute the corresponding root system. This allows us to develop a command to compute the Cartan Matrix of a semisimple Lie algebra. From the Cartan Matrix we can construct the corresponding Dynkin diagram and determine the structure of the Lie algebra. We use the Cartan subalgebra and Cartan matrix to classify the simple Lie algebras over C.

We will also set out to define commands to initialize the classical Lie algebras of all dimensions in Maple. These commands will give us the tools needed to verify our results.

Included in

Mathematics Commons