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Learning GAP

GAP can answer simple questions or be a tool for experts. We have collected here links to a variety of materials intended to help people learn the language and get what they want from GAP. See also the page on Teaching Material, which refers to material accompanying courses given at various places.

Some of these materials have been written as stand-alone introductions to GAP, others were prepared to accompany talks at conferences. We have tried in each case to indicate the level and the intended audience.

There is considerable overlap in the content of the various materials, particularly in their introductory sections. We suggest that you look at several accounts, both to discover which are most suited to your background and interests, and to see some different ways that people think about GAP.

Of course everything about GAP is contained in the manuals where it is explained in detail, but since already the main Reference Manual is so extensive we recommend that you look briefly at its table of contents first, then start to learn GAP with some of the basic materials here. If you can, start GAP in one computer window and open the written material in another, so you can cut and paste and experiment as you go along. Later, when you start to run your first own jobs, you may either continue to use GAP interactively or write programs to be saved and then executed. The latter has the advantage that such programs can easily be modified and rerun.

We wish you an enjoyable and rewarding experience learning GAP.

Elementary Accounts

Elementary Accounts for Learning GAP 3.

  • Computers in Group theory - An introduction to GAP.
    A talk on computational group theory, focussing on GAP 3, with two advanced examples. Delivered by Alexander Hulpke at Rennes, April 1996. Available in LaTeX, DVI, and PostScript.
  • An Introduction to GAP 3.
    A two hour introduction for beginners by Steve Linton , delivered at the workshop "Nilpotent and Soluble Quotient Methods" in Trento, Italy, June 1997. Available in LaTeX, DVI, and PostScript.
  • An introduction to groups, in particular finite soluble groups, in GAP 3.
    Slides to talks by Bettina Eick at the conference `Methods of computer algebra in finite geometry' in Caserta, Italy, November 1997.

More Specialized Materials