Authors and Credits
Angie Gardiner compiled the documents using these resources:
Multivariate Mathematics with Maple by James A. Carlson and Jennifer M. Johnson, copyright 1996
Introduction to Maple V.4 in the Undergraduate Computer Lab by James A. Carlson and Jennifer M. Johnson, 1993
Added in 2008: Math 2250 Maple Tutorial by Nick Korevaar
Added in 2012: Math 2250, 2270, 2280 Maple Tutorial by Grant Gustafson
Maple is a software package called a computer algebra system. It does symbolic computations, such as derivatives and integrals. In addition, it is a numerical laboratory, suited for numerical computation, simulations, and what-if experiments in science and engineering. The graphics features of Maple are useful for geometrical visualization of ideas, understanding definitions and exploring techniques. Use the graphical interface to develop your intuition while learning new topics. The Math Center Lab Before you start learning Maple, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the facilities in the computer lab in the T. Benny Rushing Mathematics Student Center. Please ask in the Math Center for a printed copy of the document Introduction to the Computer Lab. Campus Access to Maple Campus departments with computer facilities have installed maple under a campus-wide site license. It may be convenient to do xmaple sessions in your own department, or 24/7 from home with maple, a non-graphical interface running in an xterm window.
Unix Terminal Instructions. If using a UNIX station in the Math Center, which by default runs X-windows, then click on the maple leaf icon at the bottom of the screen. Then select X Maple V12, or X Maple V16. Soon a new window will appear. Click the window top and hold the mouse, then move the window. When satisfied with the screen position, then release the mouse button. Alternative launch. First launch application xterm, then type command xmaple &. The xterm command can be found on the middle mouse button menu; click the wallpaper to get a menu. MacLab Instructions. If you are using a Mac in the Math Center, then click on the icon at the upper right corner of your screen labeled /. This will open a new window. Click on the Applications button in this window, and then select XDarwin from the applications and run it rootless. After a couple of minutes, you will get a terminal window. In this window, type ssh xserver. After login, type xmaple at the prompt to start Maple. Icons in the upper right corner of the maple window allow resize.
It is routine to exit maple after the session ends. The command to exit is on the FILE menu, a mouse operation. Reasons to exit include a non-responding maple engine, which everyone eventually encounters. A dialog box appears on exit, asking if you want to save the file(s). Answering NO is usual if you are just learning maple and don't have any valuable work. Answering YES will cause another dialog box to appear, asking for a file name to save the worksheet. More than one dialog box appears, if there are multiple worksheets. In order to not lose valuable work, it is advisable to save the file periodically, especially after typing for many minutes. Saving a file To save a Maple session that you have been working on and give it a name, choose FILE ==> SAVE AS from the top of the screen. The SAVE AS dialog box will appear. To save the worksheet as a file with name hwk1, fill in the dialog box. If the box contains text *.mws or *.mw, then delete the asterisk (*) and type the file name. Then hit the Return (Macs) or Enter (UNIX) key, or click on OK. Keep file names simple, using only letters and numbers, without any special symbols. In particular, avoid using spaces or periods. Maple will add the .mws or .mw extension to identify the saved file as a Maple worksheet. Once a file has been saved, the menu command File ==> Save, or the diskette icon (save icon) at the top of the window, can be used to re-write the contents. AUTO-SAVE. A feature in maple, it creates every so many minutes a backup copy of the current worksheet. A file saved as "foo.mw" has backup file "foo_MAS.bak" located in the same directory. When "foo.mw" is manually saved (e.g., ctrl-S or the FILE menu), then the backup is erased and not written again until the worksheet is changed. Normally, you will not see the backup file, because on exit you are forced to save the file, which erases the backup. Set the backup frequency in TOOLS ==> OPTIONS ==> GENERAL. No matter the dialog box option taken, the backup is removed. You lose what was typed, if not saved to a file. Especially, on a NEW WORKSHEET which has not been saved, no backup is made during typing! Crashed Maple Recovery After a crash of maple, there is a file in the same directory with extension _MAS.BAK which contains all recent typing since the last save. Load the file that crashed and also this _MAS.BAK file with matching file name. Mouse-copy from the save-file into the crashed file, to get back what is possible. Be selective, then use SAVE AS with a new file name, in case of another crash event.
WORKSHEET and DOCUMENT modes The WORKSHEET MODE will be described. There is a window with two colors on the screen. RED is what you type on the keyboard, or paste into maple with the mouse. BLUE is what the maple engine prints in response to entered commands If the maple window does not have this appearance, then it could have started in DOCUMENT MODE. There is a way to change this default, best done with the help of a maple expert. Ask a maple instructor for details, because it depends on the maple version being used. Once changed to the RED-BLUE interface, then it will be used by default for every subsequent maple session. In either mode, the mouse positions the cursor, along with arrow keys. Usual editing keys like BACKSPACE, DELETE apply. But RETURN has a special meaning, namely to request the maple engine to execute the commands preceding up to the last left-side greater-than sign (>). Additional keys useful for editing in either interface: ctrl-z Undo last edit ctrl-k Insert line above the current line ctrl-J Insert line below the current line ctrl-c Copy mouse-highlighted text ctrl-v Paste text that was previously copied Copy and Paste Maple rookies can avoid typing errors by copying known valid code with the mouse (highlight, then ctrl-C ), followed by paste onto a new line (mouse click at target location, then ctrl-V). Copy works from text documents and also PDF documents (copy requires adobe reader ). To paste, try the menu item PASTE. Then ctrl-V. Then RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON. Then MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON . If none of that works, then hold down the SHIFT KEY and try the mouse buttons again. Mac Workstation. If you are using a Mac, use the mouse to highlight the command(s) you want to copy, then choose Edit -> Copy from the menus. Move the cursor to where you want to paste the text , then choose Edit -> Paste. Unix Workstation. Press and hold down the left mouse button at the beginning of the text you want to copy. Still holding the button down, drag the mouse until you have highlighted the desired text. Release the mouse button. Move the cursor to the position where you want to paste. Click the left mouse button to mark this spot. Click the middle mouse button to paste. Repeat Paste Copied text stays in memory and anytime you press the middle mouse button (or choose Paste from the Edit menu) it will be pasted at the current cursor position. This can cause surprises. An accidental hit the middle mouse button will paste, unexpectedly. An immediate ctrl-z will undo the error. For safety, mouse-copy some blank space to clear the copied text. Editing a Saved Maple file It may take more than one session at the computer to complete your analysis. Save your work on disk, and come back to the lab and open your Maple file again to continue working. Often it will be useful to take with you a printed copy of your Maple session so you can think about what you have done so far, and how you want to continue when you come back to the lab, or so that you can get help from a lab instructor, a friend, or the instructor. Deleting Text. Besides the keyboard backspace and delete keys, you can also delete text or commands by using the mouse to highlight the area you want to delete, then hit the Delete key. To delete an entire computation or a plot, move the cursor into the command block (square left bracket on the left screen edge) that produced the computation or click on the plot. Hold down the Control key and press the Delete key. The Edit menu has a duplicate. Accelerate typing by learning key shortcuts from the menus. Comments In any command line, Maple ignores anything typed after the # symbol to the end of that line. Example: solve(3*x+2*y-5*z=0,z); # Solve for z in terms of # symbols x and y Block Comments To add comments between commands, click the mouse anywhere in the command block. Then click on the icon T at the top of the screen (left of icon [>). A new text block appears one group below, then the cursor moves into the block. The pull-down menus and icons at the top of the Maple window allow choice of the font, font size, style, color and more. Default text is Times Roman black at 12 points. To exit the TEXT mode, find at the maple window top this line Text Math Drawing Plot Animation and mouse-click the MATH icon. This undocumented requirement is able to frustrate Rookies, who somehow start typing in BLACK and cannot switch back to RED, the MATH mode. Using Maple and Getting Help The best way to learn Maple is by using it. But first, a few remarks about Maple. The symbol > ; is the command prompt, which Maple uses to signal you that it awaits your command. Commands normally end with a semicolon (;) if you want to see the output or a colon (:) if you don't want to see the output. Maple is a programming language. It has strict rules of punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If something is not working right, check to see if you are following the rules. For example, the Maple engine will get confused if you write 2x instead of 2*x. Check for things like misspelled names or extra or missing parentheses. If further thought doesn't clear things up, ask a human for help. You will become an expert troubleshooter only by making mistakes and then correcting those mistakes. While learning Maple, you will have questions about how a particular command or function is used. To ask MAPLE about a command whose name you know, just type a question mark, followed by the name of the command. For instance, ?solve gives information on the solve command. Scroll forward to the examples at the end. Most questions are answered by the examples. If not answered, then use the technical information at the beginning of the help file. For specific help on how to do something in maple, use a google search in a browser - it is faster than sorting through maple's help system. The help system in maple supports full text search or topic search of Maple's help files. You will find these options under the Help menu in the upper right corner of the Maple window. You will also find other handy things , such as Introduction, New User's Tour, and Using Help. Rookies are frustrated by the help system, but encouraged by google searches, which can answer a specific question.
To print your Maple session directly from Maple, choose Print from the File menu (or click on the Printer icon). In the Printer Setup window that appears, check that Print Command is selected, rather than Output to File, and click Print. Alternatively, you can save your Maple session to a PDF file, then then print it from acroread (adobe reader). Choose File ==> Export and save the worksheet as a PDF file, like hwk1.pdf. To send a PDF file to the printer, load the file into adobe reader, then choose Print on the adobe reader (acroread) menu. The maple file types mws, mw can only be printed from xmaple. Don't use lpr on PDF files, because of printer filters that may silently change the print file contents. The same advice applies for the Math Dept command print, which is a locally produced shell file that uses lpr. Print to a File. The print dialog box may offer to print to a file. Some maple versions don't have the feature. Don't print to a file. Use the Export command to output the worksheet to PDF, which is a portable print format. The dialog box inside Maple for the printer may have a default print command (lpr). It may be changed to lpr -l or to lpr - oraw in order to solve printing problems. If your printout does not appear on the printer, then suspect an adulterated lpr command or incorrect destination printer in a dialog box. **If you are having trouble printing, then please ask the lab assistant for help.**
If you are looking for a simple way to email your worksheet, then try the easiest solution: copy with the mouse and paste it into the email program. It is helpful to remove the output from the worksheet before mouse copy; see the EDIT menu. This method has the advantage of being version free: whoever gets the code can use it directly in whatever version of maple is on their computer.
When you come back to work on a Maple file that you've already started, your task now is to reopen that file and get back to where you left off. To open a file, choose File ==> Open. An Open File dialog box will appear. In this box you will see a list of Maple files. Click on the file that you want to open, then hit the Enter key or click OK. BROWSE for it, if not found. Advice: save your files in an easy to find location. It is not enough to just OPEN the saved file! Surprises when reloading a Maple File. Although Maple loads and displays a record of your last session, it unloads variables. One way to get Maple to reload variables from last time is to go to the beginning of your file and hit the Return key until you get to the last line of the file. (You might want to use the arrow keys to skip the lines that displayed plots or requests for help files). This will ensure that Maple's memory of your last session is restored. A shortcut for executing the entire worksheet is to click the icon !!! at the window top. Inserting a comment marker (#-sign) at the front of plot or help lines speeds the worksheet re-execute. Next: Hand Calculator Examples.