The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is a place where bold ideas flourish. It brings together great minds in a shared effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs that will transform our future. PI is an independent research center in foundational theoretical physics.
One of the key mission objectives of Perimeter is to provide scientific training and educational outreach activities to the general public. Maplesoft is proud to be part of this endeavor, as PI’s Educational Outreach Champion. Maplesoft’s contributions support Perimeter’s Teacher Network training activities, core educational resources, development of online course material, support of events such as the EinsteinPlus workshop for high school teachers, the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP), and other initiatives.
The annual International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) is a two-week camp that brings together 40 exceptional physics-minded students from high schools across the globe to PI. The program covers many different topics in physics such as quantum mechanics, special relativity, general relativity, and cosmology. Each year students receive a complimentary copy of Maple, and use the product to practice and strengthen their math skills. The program receives an average of three-hundred applications from students in grades eleven and twelve from around the world. Competition is intense, and students who are chosen for the program are extremely bright and advanced for their age; however there is some variation in their level of math and physics knowledge. . Students are asked to review a “math primer” document to prepare them with the background needed for the program.The ISSYP program now uses Möbius, Maplesoft’s online courseware platform to administer this primer. With Möbius, PI has moved from a pdf document primer to fully online material, which has motivated more students to complete the material and be more engaged in their courses. The interactivity and engagement that technology provides has made the summer program more productive and dynamic.
EinsteinPlus is a one-week intensive workshop for Canadian and international high school teachers that focuses on modern physics, including quantum physics, special relativity, and cosmology. EinsteinPlus also provides unique opportunities to learn some of the latest developments in physics from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields. Maplesoft proudly supports this workshop by giving teachers access to and training in Maple.
Perimeter Institute also organizes a lively program of seminars, regularly exposing researchers and students to current ideas in the wider theoretical physics community. The talks provide content outside of, but related to, core disciplines. Recently Maplesoft’s own physics expert Dr. Edgardo Cheb-Terrab conducted a lecture and training session at PI on Computer Algebra for Theoretical Physics.
Dr. Edgardo Cheb-Terrab is the force behind the algorithms and Maple libraries of the ODE and PDE symbolic solvers, the MathematicalFunctions package (an expert system in special functions) and the Physics package, among other things.
In his talk at PI, the Physics project at Maplesoft was presented and the resulting Physics package was illustrated through simple problems in classical field theory, quantum mechanics and general relativity, and through tackling the computations of some recent Physical Review papers in those areas. In addition there was a hands-on workshop where attendees were offered four choices of activity: follow the mini-course; explore items of the worksheet of the morning presentation; or bring their own problems so that Dr. Cheb-Terrab could guide them on how to tackle it using the Physics package and Maple in general.
As a company that strives to continuously improve student learning, and empower instructors and researchers with the tools necessary to compete in an ever changing and demanding educational environment, Maplesoft’s partnership with the Perimeter Institute allows us to do just that. We take great pride and joy in bringing our technology to outreach programs for students and teachers, making these opportunities a more productive and dynamic experience for all.