BME 153L  Spring 2009
Homework 5: Maple Introduction
5.1
Introduction
This homework focuses using Maple to find both the symbolic and the numeric solutions to the linear algebra
equations involved with solving electric circuits. Specifically, this lab depends on the full set of equations
generated from Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s laws.
5.2
Solving Equations
Once you have found the necessary equations to solve a circuit, there are multiple methods for solving them.
If you choose to use matrix methods, you will need to organize the equations such that all the unknowns
(and their coefficients) are on one side and the known items are on the other. You can then setup up and
solve a matrix equation using whatever method you like (Cramer’s Rule, Gaussian Elimination, etc.).
If you have access to a computer, however, you may consider using a computational tool to do the
algebra for you. One such tool is Maple, produced by Maplesoft. This program is written to perform many
mathematical tasks, including symbolic algebra. Solving linear algebra problems with this program can be
done in several steps.
5.2.1
Starting the Program
Maple is free to Duke students and resides on the OIT system in the same way that MATLAB does. To
start Maple, make sure your terminal is set up to receive graphics
1
and type
xmaple &
at the prompt. Maple will start up. It may have a window at startup containing hints or tips  go ahead
and close that window.
There will most likely be some initial blank document in the main window  go
ahead and close it as well by selecting
FileClose Document
.
Then, open a new blank worksheet with
FileNewWorksheet Mode
.
5.2.2
Documenting Your Work
When Maple starts a worksheet, it expects everything to be an input. To document your work with the title
of the assignment, your name and NET ID, and any kind of explanation you would like to add, you need
to tell Maple to switch to paragraph mode. Go to
InsertParagraphBefore Cursor
and you will notice
that a blank line opens up above the red cursor mark. You can type text in here and Maple will know
not
to try to process it. Go ahead and call this assignment
Introductory Maple Assignment
, hit return, put
in your name followed by your NET ID in parenthesis, hit return, and put in today’s date.
5.2.3
Clearing the Worksheet
When Maple runs, it “remembers” everything that it has done in the worksheet, regardless of what order
you ran lines of code. For that reason, it is good programming practice to have Maple “restart” itself at the
beginning of each worksheet. To give Maple a command, first tell Maple you are ready to issue commands
by selecting
InsertExecution GroupAfter Cursor
. This will start a new bracket (black lines at the left
of the worksheet) and give you a prompt (red
>
). At the prompt, type
restart
. When you hit return, if
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 Spring '07
 MALKIN
 Numerical Analysis, Computer algebra system

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