Maple documentation for new users
From the Standard Maple help menu, select Take a Tour of Maple and do the "10 minute tour" and the "numerical and symbolic computation" tour too. However, this assumes you can use right-click menus and palette input to get what you want. One needs to experiment a bit with these to acquire comfort with using them.
For becoming familiar with the Maple interface a web page of tips is available: Maple Examples and Tips, and within the Maple environment, the beginning of the linked worksheet
which must be executed to see its output. [This page also has links to worksheets which provide detailed examples for the entire Calculus and Differential Equations/Linear Algebra sequence.]
For learning about 1d math notation, which one finds everywhere in the Help pages, one can open the Classic Maple help menu and select Introduction, which allows access to the Quick New User Tour (10 minutes), and interactive New User Tour (sections 1-5 and 12 for starting calc 1, etc, maybe 30 minutes for these sections), and the very useful FAQ: How to Perform Basic Tasks summary. It is unwise for any new user of Classic Maple not to go through the relevant sections of the New User Tour.
Maple Resources for Students and Instructors
The complete Maple user manuals are freely available in PDF form at the MapleSoft Support Documentation Center. The Getting Started Guide discusses the elementary aspects of Maple and its interface, while the User Manual is a comprehensive introduction to most aspects of Maple. This is something certain faculty members might want to download, for example.
The Maple Application Center at http://www.Mapleapps.com has some calculus and differential equations tutorials in both worksheet format for download and as web page versions for immediate browsing. All special applications created by users interested in sharing their work may be found here. This may be interesting for instructors. In particular the upper left link to Clickable Calculus has examples of how to use Clickable Calculus on a long list of calculus topics. Similarly the link to Tips & Techniques in the same location has valuable tips and hints that one can browse.
By registering at http://www.Mapleprimes.com, additional support is available, including an undergraduate user forum. Not terribly useful.
The site http://www.Mapleforstudents.com is basically a marketing site now.
Instructors in the Engineering/Science calculus/diffeq/linalg sequence MAT1500-1505-2500-2705 who have registered their classes with the Maple Adoption Program get some perks described at that website. The "student" and "linalg" packages have been made obsolete by much more functional packages described in the hints and tips and examples page worksheet examples.
The Student Edition of Maple is the full version, available for 129 dollars to any student with legitimate student ID. You can order it directly from Maplesoft, but there is no need to spend the money here at VU since it is available in so many ways.
Maple and Calculus at Villanova University
Starting with Maple 9, Summer 2003 and more fully developed in Standard Maple 10 Summer 2005, Maple has new Java interactive windows called Tutors that enable you to perform many mathematical activities and set all options without knowing any Maple code. [These interactive windows must be closed before trying to return to the main worksheet. Sometimes they can be misplaced in the background and you are left wondering why the hourglass is still running at the cursor location.]
In a Standard Maple worksheet in worksheet mode, simply right clicking on an output expression in blue after inputting it in the red input region and executing the region to load the expression into Maple's memory will produce a menu of choices, and the chosen action will be inserted in the next input to be executed for its output. In a Standard Maple document mode worksheet, only the action results with an arrow from the starting expression, which may be edited using the palettes.
For example the Student Calculus package can be loaded:
Like the interactive plot command obtained from the right-click menu, the calculus Tutor commands pop up interactive windows to guide the user step by step (with hints) through limits, differentiation, integration, taylor series creation and visualization, and other operations with functions of one variable. They also often give a final equivalent Maple command that reproduces the interactively produced result of the tutor that can be selected and copied using "control C" and pasted into an input region using "control V" (but not by right clicking to get a menu for copying and pasting, for some reason known only to MapleSOFT). Although some basic knowledge of Maple syntax is helpful, the user now has many ways of selecting from menus (palettes, right-click menus) to do most of the basic support tasks for calculus without worrying about syntax.
The Student MutlivariateCalculus package can be loaded:
This performs the same role for multivariable calculus. One should also be aware of the VectorCalculus package
as well as the Student LinearAlgebra package, and the LinearAlgebra package which is in parallel with the older package linalg still used here at Villanova:
It will probably take time for use of these tools to be adopted by a majority of instructors here. [The standard Maple interface collects all of these commands by topic under the new Tools menu in Maple.]
To convert an existing classic worksheet .mws file to a Maple 10 or higher .mw worksheet file:
- Open the .mws file in Standard Maple.
- Save as a .mw file.
- From the Format Menu, Styles, select "C 2d input" for command line 2d input, and click on Modify, then Restore to Default, then Okay, then Okay.
- New input regions will be in 2d math in black type.
- Format Menu, Convert to 2d math will work on blocks of inputs with no intervening text (remove outputs first).
- Some inputs should be changed given the more user friendly palette insertion and Matrix, Vector data structures, Tutors, etc.
- Don't just convert, think how one can take advantage of the advances in the Maple Standard interface.
Thanks to Robert Lopez for this trick.