Maplesoft Blog

The Maplesoft blog contains posts coming from the heart of Maplesoft. Find out what is coming next in the world of Maple, and get the best tips and tricks from the Maple experts.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, we are hosting our first-ever Virtual User Summit.   This day provides Maplesoft’s academic community a chance to learn more about the different ways Maplesoft technology is being used in education and research, a chance to interact with Maplesoft employees as well as each other, and a chance to get a glimpse into the future of education.

The virtual nature of this conference is a very tangible example of how much technology has changed our lives.  No less dramatic is the effect of technology on education.  In the keynote presentations at this conference, you will learn about Maplesoft’s vision for the future of education. You’ll also get to see tangible examples of technology that is building towards that vision, including sneak peeks of some things we are working on.

Visit Maplesoft Virtual User Summit for the full agenda and to register.  “Doors open” at 8:30 Eastern Time and the keynote presentations start at 9:00.

We are looking forward to this chance to come together and share our passion for technology and technical education.  Hope to see you there!

Maplesoft is a long standing supporter of the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest for high school students. For years, we have donated Maple as prizes to winners of the national and regional contests.

This year, being the 25th anniversary of Maplesoft’s incorporation, the company decided to support several projects that encourage the use of math amongst high school students and young adults. We dedicated a bigger budget towards projects that would enable us to make a significant impact on students and impress upon them the need for math and science in their future careers.

One project we undertook this year is giving an extreme makeover to the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest! With Maplesoft as a “Technology Sponsor”, the contest that was administered on pen-and-paper moved to a digital format. We donated our testing and assessment tool, Maple T.A. to administer the tests online, making the software accessible to every student that participated. This meant the students took an online test, and were automatically and instantly graded using Maple T.A.

The 2013 competition is underway, and the results are extremely positive:

  • The number of students that participated in the contest doubled this year, with over 2000 students from over 150 schools participating.
  • The competition introduced a second level of tests, making the competition more rigorous. After the first elimination round, eligible contestants moved to a second round with questions of increased difficulty levels.
  • By avoiding much of the paper work and manual corrections, the organizers saw significant savings in time and money.

Custom test questions were created in Maple T.A., which were accessed by students from a server hosted by Maplesoft. The simple and easy to use interface of Maple T.A. enabled the students to take the test without spending time learning the tool. Maple T.A. supports the use of standard mathematical notation in both the question text and student responses. Maple T.A. also allows free-response questions, including questions that have more than one correct answer.

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician is a math contest for high school students, organized by the American Mathematical Society (AMS), as part of its Public Awareness Program. Ten students will be chosen for the semifinals and two will qualify for the finals to be held at the Joint Math Meetings in January 2014.

More information about the contest that is currently in progress can be found on the AMS website


We’ve recently added a new set of questions to the Maple T.A. Cloud for English language proficiency tests. These questions demonstrate how Maple T.A. can be used to generate text-based questions that take advantage of the randomization feature. These questions were created by Metha Kamminga, an Independent Learning Professional in the Netherlands. Metha is a strong proponent of Maple T.A. in Europe, and transformed the testing and assessment system in Delft University before her retirement.

TU Delft University aims to transform learning through the use of technology. Its ambition is to eventually offer fully digitalized degree programs and it believes that digital testing and assessment can play an important role within this process. They are using Maplesoft’s online testing and assessment suite, Maple T.A., to move their courses to a digital assessment environment. To read the full user story, click here.

Visit the Maple T.A. Cloud to access the questions mentioned above and to browse the full collection of questions.

Fourteen Clickable Calculus examples have been added to the Teaching Concepts with Maple area of the Maplesoft web site. Four are sequence and series explorations taken from algebra/precalculus, four are applications of differentiation, four are applications of integration, and two are problems from the lines-and-planes section of multivariate calculus. By my count, this means some 111 Clickable Calculus examples have now been posted to the section.

I am happy to formally announce Maple T.A. 9.5! An expansion on Maple T.A. 9, this release is packed full of innovative features and new tools to assist academic institutions with a variety of different teaching and assessment tasks.

Ever have an issue on your campus where students are required to learn a new piece of technology, but you don’t know how to get them prepared for it? With Maple T.A. 9.5, we have included pre-built content to assist students in learning how to use the Maple T.A. environment, and students can take the new Readiness Test to educate themselves on how to use the system. Tasks such as enabling Java, navigating assignments, grading tests, searching for help, and much more are taught in an interactive setting, and give students the right information they need to become comfortable with Maple T.A.

We haven’t forgotten about instructors and teachers either. We have completely revamped our Instructor Examples to provide educators with a sample question of every single question type in Maple T.A. – that’s over 25 different examples! Instructors are given descriptions, feature lists, and examples for each question type. Additionally, we also created a new Sample Assignment that shows instructors what a typical assignment looks like. They can explore this assignment from both instructor and student viewpoints to test out different options and see what the experience will be like.

Essay questions have been foundational in Maple T.A. for several years now, and Maple T.A. 9.5.makes it even easier to provide feedback for students submitting essays. With the Essay Annotation feature, instructors have the ability to mark-up an essay with comments using a simple drag and drop tool. Using this new tool, your students will be able to see your comments and take note of any issues they had in their writing.

Power outages, automatic updates, computer crashes... we’ve all experienced these unpredictable events, and they can be catastrophic for students trying to meet due dates or if assignments are timed. To help with this Maple T.A. has expanded its Proctor Tools feature.  Instructors can now grant individual students with additional time or date extensions if there are ever any issues.

We’re also giving you a sneak peak at some up-and-coming technology: Gradeable Math Apps. As part of The Möbius Project, you can now embed an interactive Maple worksheet in a Maple T.A. question. Students can move sliders, push buttons, click on plot windows and much more directly inside of a Maple T.A. question. Students are then automatically graded on their interaction with the Math App – just like other question types in Maple T.A.

All these features are all for Maplesoft-hosted and self-hosted users, which also includes all the great stuff from Maple T.A. 9:

  • Adaptive Testing
  • New Question Repository
  • Maple T.A. Cloud
  • Hint Deductions
  • Reworking Assignments
  • MathJax Support
  • Distributed Load Balancing
  • Permanent User Deletion
  • Customizable User Interface
  • Multiple Instructors for a Class
  • And much more!

At Maplesoft, we are extremely excited about Maple T.A. 9.5, and can’t wait for schools all over the world to begin using it!  And as always, we are very interested in hearing from you about your experiences with Maple T.A., as well as any suggestions you have for future releases.

Thirteen Clickable Calculus examples have been added to the Teaching Concepts with Maple section of the Maplesoft web site. The additions include examples in algebra, differential and integral calculus, lines-and-planes in multivariate calculus, and linear algebra. By my count, this means some 97 Clickable Calculus examples are now available.

In the Algebra/Precalculus section, examples of an

We conduct regular reviews of our platform support to ensure that we are focusing on the platforms that are most valued by our customers. Based on our most recent review, we will offer the next release of Maple on the platforms listed below. As additional versions of operating systems on these platforms are announced, we will take those into account as well.

Supported Platforms and Operating Systems
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows 8

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Ubuntu 13.10 (Planned)

OS X 10.7
OS X 10.8

Mac OS X 10.6
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 update 5
Ubuntu 12.10
Oracle Solaris 10 (the next release of Maple will not be available on Solaris)

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reply to this topic, or contact us directly at: maplepm (at)

In a webinar on July 10, 2013, I solved the related rate problem:

Helium is pumped into a spherical balloon at the constant rate of 25 cu ft per min.
At what rate is the surface area of the balloon increasing at the moment when its radius is 8 ft?

A question in the Q&A at the end of the Webinar asked if it were possible to have an animation illustrate the expanding sphere and the rate of change in the surface area thereof. 

Technology is changing the face of education. An obvious statement, of course. Everybody from students to instructors to parents will agree. Over 40 years ago, the introduction of the pocket calculator allowed us to change the focus from menial calculations to applying our knowledge to solve problems and discover the power of mathematics. 

Since then we have seen leaps from innovation to innovation. The personal computer. Computer Algebra systems. Tablet computing....

Everyone knows that Maple combines a smart user interface with a highly sophisticated mathematical engine, where common tasks are performed quickly and seamlessly with point, click and drag operations. Of equal importance, however, is the fact that Maple is also backed by a comprehensive programming language. Also called "Maple", this language combines elements from procedural languages (like C), functional languages (like Lisp) as well as object oriented languages (like C++...

Using the Quandl API, we have created a Quandl library for Maple.  The Quandl library for Maple provides easy access to Quandl’s repository of over 5 million time-series datasets from directly inside Maple, allowing you to utilize Maple’s robust tools for mathematical statistics and data analysis on Quandl’s extensive collection of data.  This library features a similar set of functionalities to the Quandl

It’s hard to believe, but Maplesoft as a company has reached the quarter-century mark.  Twenty-five years ago this month, the founders launched this company as a vehicle to market, distribute and support a symbolic computation program they had created called Maple.  They had...

Maple 17 adds several new visualizations in Graph Theory as well as updates to inequality plotting and visualizing branch cuts in mathematical expressions.  In preparing the “what’s new” pages for Maple 17, we decided to showcase several of these plots alongside some of our other favourites.

The following file contains code to create most of the “what’s new” plots, as well as some quick tips and techniques for using the ColorTools package to enhance your plots:...

In Maple 17, the Student MultivariateCalculus package has been augmented with fifteen new commands relevant for defining and manipulating lines and planes. There already exists a functionality for this in the geom3d package whose structures differ from those in the new Student packages. Students...

Every year at Maplesoft, we continue to pursue our mission of making powerful computational mathematics easily accessible within a friendly environment. Maple 17 is no exception: Hundreds of new algorithms, from differential equations to statistics to signal processing, continue to keep Maple ahead of the curve. At the same time, a wealth...

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