Intro to Maple
1.
Introduction
Maple is a symbolic computation system or computer algebra system. That is, it
manipulates information symbolically or algebraically as opposed to just numer
ically.
Nevertheless, it does have numerical manipulation abilities.
Maple and
Mathematica are very similar in this regard.
2.
Maple as a Calculator
Maple may be used as simply a calculator with graphing capabilities: We illustrate
this capability first.
Later we will show how to use Maple as a programming
language.
To start Maple on most platforms just double click on the Maple icon.
In Unix
systems one may type xmaple from a command line to open Maple. When Maple
opens, you are in what is called a Maple worksheet. Names of Maple worksheets
usually end in .mws.
Open a new maple worksheet. Execute each of the commands below in Maple. If
you have done this correctly you should see the answer in blue. Also the cursor will
move to the next line. The first commands show how to do simple arithmetic.
Note that each command ends with a semicolon.
Every input line should be
teminated with a semicolon or a colon. After typing the semicolon, pressing the
Return key causes Maple to execute the input and the output from Maple is printed
in blue. Terminating a line with a colon suppresses the output.
3*4;
2^5;
12/2;
11/2;
11.0/2;
(
Notice the effect of changing 11 to 11.0.
)
34: 3+4;
Maple is case sensitive. So, for example, ABC, ABc, AbC, Abc, aBc, Abc, etc, are
all different so far as Maple is concerned.
Maple uses Pi (not pi) to denote the number
π
. Type
Pi;
into Maple. Notice that Maple simply outputs the symbolic value of
π
and not a
decimal approximation. To get a decimal approximation we will type
evalf(Pi);
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In this case, Maple will determine the number of decimal places for us. If would
like to determine them ourselves we could write
evalf(Pi,30);
or even:
evalf(Pi,500);
(Notice that a Maple worksheet is divided into three different regions:
•
input region (in red)
•
output region (in blue)
•
text region (in black)
You can enter the text mode by clicking the
T
on the menu at the top. More about
these matters will be given below.)
Note that Maple does not give a decimal approximation unless you specifically ask
for it. For example:
sin(Pi/3);
We may get a decimal approximations of the previous output as follows. Note that
%
indicated the previous output.
%%
indicates the output before that.
The one
before that is indicated by
%%%
just like in Mathematica.
evalf(%);
More examples
: Enter the following commands into maple and execute them.
sin(Pi/5);
sin(Pi/37);
evalf(%);
sqrt(16);
sqrt(7);
evalf(%);
Maple has very high precision arithmetic. However, if you push it too far, you will
cause Maple to crash or, if you are lucky, just to say, “The object you asked for is
too large.”
Be sure to save your Maple files often. It is not hard to crash
Maple.
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 Spring '11
 Johnson
 Math, Algebra, Click, Menu bar, Computer algebra system

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