All students in
Math 240, and
are using Maple, a mathematical software package. In addition to
doing standard numerical and graphical computations, it is capable of
doing symbolic computations; one uses symbols without giving them
numerical values, as solving
3x + y = p
x - 2y = 7
for x and y; the solution will of course involve p.
This makes Maple much more powerful than a graphing calculator.
Maple will be used in classroom demonstrations, and you will be
required to use it for some of your homework assignments throughout
Since it is likely that Maple is new to you, there is substantial
support available to help you learn and use Maple effectively. Here
are some answers to some basic questions you may have about Maple and
some information about the various sources of Maple help that you can
take advantage of.
On This Page
How to get access to Maple:
In a Penn Computer Lab, Buy the Software, Bundled with your text
Getting Started With Maple
How to get access to Maple
We are using Maple 12 this year, although any
fairly recent version will also be effective. Newer versions, such as
Maple 12, can read files ("worksheets") created with older versions of
Maple, but older versions might not be able to read files created with
newer versions unless the new worksheet is saved using the "Save
as classic worksheet" option.
For backward compatibility, essentially all of our online files should
be accessible by someone using Maple 9.5 (or newer).
There are several ways for students to get access to Maple:
- In a Computer Lab
Maple has been installed in most of the computer labs at Penn,
including those in residence halls and in academic buildings. In
each location, there are Macintosh and/or IBM-Compatible PCs, where
Maple should be found either the Applications folder or the Start
Menu, respectively. When you visit a campus lab, it is a good idea
to bring a floppy disk (or USB Flash Drive) to save your work.
- Buy the Maple Software
If you own your own computer, then you can probably run Maple
on it. Maple is available at the Computer Connection (in the book
store) for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux computers.
- Bundled with your text
A copy of the current version of Maple, with a license valid for
two semesters and upgradable, for a fee, to a full, permanent
license, is bundled with your text book. The CD in your text will
install a version of Maple appropriate for your computer and
operating system. Please refer to the following link for more
information on the official platforms on which Maple has been
Current Maple System requirements
Getting Started With Maple
If you have never used Maple before (the usual state of affairs
for new students), you should work your way through the Maple
tutorial available on the MapleSoft web site. The tutorial will
introduce you to the basic commands and syntax of Maple. There are
many other Maple worksheets available to help you with your study of
the Calculus and the use of Maple. Explore as many of them as you
wish. Some of your professors may assign certain of these worksheets
as part of your course homework. If you are having difficulties with
Maple (and most beginners do), please see the section on "Maple Help"
for places to obtain asistance.
Brief Introduction -- With Tutorial
(click on the links for the "quickstart" training materials and traning
videos linked from this page).
Maple for Students main page (lots of links to calculus related
worksheets, more tutorials and videos, etc.)
Maplesoft updates and sometimes changes these links, so if you wind up on
the Maplesoft home page (www.maplesoft.com), finding your way to the tutorials,
etc. is relatively easy using the links on the Maple homepage.
There are several sources of Maple help available to you during
the semester. First, you should go to your professor and TA. They can
help you with basic questions during their office hours.
It is important to realize that very little time will be spent in
calculus classes discussing Maple syntax. You must learn this from the
examples done in class and by reading and experimenting on your
own. If you are having trouble doing this on your own, then use the
available resources such as your Maple manual (bundled with your text
book)and the Math/Maple Centers.
There are more than 1500 students taking calculus with Maple every
semester. Therefore, it is crucial that you develop some good work
habits and take precautions so that you do not waste your time or
other people's time. Computer assignments have been carefully
scheduled so that not all classes have assignments due at the same
time. But do not leave computer work until the last minute.
Inevitably, there will be problems with printers or busy machines or
just plain hard math. Be sure to begin your work in a timely manner,
and work steadily until all assignments are completed. In general,
common sense and courtesy will go a long way towards alleviating
logistical problems which inevitably arise.
Be sure to save your work on floppy disks, USB memory stick, or on
a CD. It is a good idea to begin a separate file for each problem in a
long assignment rather than saving your work in one long file. This
makes it easier to make small changes, and it saves paper since you
don't have to print everything again once you edit.
General information about using Public Access Computer Labs:
If there are any problems with Maple installations in your College
House, contact your Residential Information Technology Advisor or the
Computer Resource Center.
To the Penn Math Undergrad Web Page.
How to contact us.