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All students in Math 103,   Math 104,   Math 114,   Math 115,   Math 240,   and Math 241   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 the semester.

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
Maple Help
Work Habits
Lab Locations

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 tested: 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

Maple 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 (, finding your way to the tutorials, etc. is relatively easy using the links on the Maple homepage.

Maple Help

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.

Work Habits

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.

Lab Locations

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.

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