Symbolic computation is concerned with algorithmic manipulations of symbolic objects. These can be objects in formal language, such as formulas or programs, or algebraic objects, such as polynomials or residue classes, or geometric objects, such as curves or surfaces. Research in symbolic computation combines advanced mathematics with advanced computer science for computing and development of algorithms. It is applied in various fields in science and engineering, such as the analysis of finite element methods, chemical reaction networks, wireless communication systems, statistical physics, robotics, and geometric modeling.

Linz has a strong tradition in the field of symbolic computation going back at least to the foundation of RISC by Bruno Buchberger in 1987. The symbolic computation group at RICAM is specializing on computer algebra, algebraic geometry, differential algebra, holonomic functions and kinematics.