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.

Maple Learn enthusiasts, we’ve got some exciting news for you! We’ve updated Maple Learn with a few more features that we’re excited to share with you.

First, we’ve added responsive design features to Maple Learn. This means that when a screen is smaller or shrunk the Maple Learn interface changes to reflect that. This lets you have even more canvas space, regardless of your screen size! For example, when your screen is small enough, the palettes, when clicked on, give a small pop-up dialogue below them, instead of their options also appearing in the toolbar.

                                                         

Along with that, a resize image icon has been added to the toolbar to make it easier to resize the images you’ve inserted into your document.

As a final note on responsive design, several of our menus have been combined into one, designated by the hamburger icon in the top left corner (Shown below, left). This is where you’ll find the file, edit, examples, and help menus. If you are looking for the settings menu, it can be found between the premium symbol and your profile picture in the top right. This is designated by three dots stacked on top of each other (shown below, right).

                                                                                          

We’ve also added more keyboard shortcuts, and increased support for the AZERTY keyboard. The updated list can be found here. We hope these new shortcuts will help you create documents more easily.

Along with the support for the AZERTY keyboard, we’ve increased support for our French language users. Many more documents are now available in French, and we’ve resolved an issue where Latin extended characters weren’t being displayed properly.

Clickable plots are here! Maple Learn now includes functionality which allows users to color our clickable plots. These documents are created through Maple scripting, and allow for colour-by-number documents, or different visualisations for theorems that involve graphics, such as this document. More documents will be available in the document gallery later, located here.

                                                             

Let us know what you think of the new features below! We hope you enjoy using them in new and exciting ways.

It’s midterm season in North America! I know, I know, you see enough reminders at school. However, we’re here to help with those tough midterms, with tips good for those who are taking their first midterms or who have already taken many.

I surveyed the co-op students working at Maplesoft, and collected some of their best study tips and mindsets surrounding midterms. Maplesoft hires many co-ops, as a piece of their education in work experience.

Let’s start with studying! One thing many of the students brought up was the importance of notetaking. Even if the lectures are recorded, or PowerPoints are given, it’s important to take notes that you can study from, that are more succinct. As well, another discussed the importance of doing many different types of studying, in order to keep you interested and focused. For example, using flashcards and answering practice problems, instead of only using flashcards.

So, how can Maplesoft help with your studying? Let’s start with a video. In this video, Justice explains how first year math can be explored using Maple Learn’s features. He walks through using the document gallery, which we’ll talk about later, along with the power of Maple Learn.

You can also create your own study sheets in Maple Learn, to reference later, or to simply practice what you know! One suggestion would be to create a sheet as though you’re teaching someone else, as teaching can be a great way to learn concepts and cement them in your mind.

These are just some of the many ways that Maple Learn can be used to improve your studying! Play around with introducing Maple Learn into your study routine, and I know you’ll find a method that works for you.

Are you having trouble grasping some advanced concepts? We have many different documents in the document gallery, available here. These documents typically fall under 3 categories: explanation documents explaining theory, example documents showing how to apply the theory, and then practice problems for you to solve that include solutions.

Proofs were a topic the students considered an advanced topic, and as such we’ll use that as an example. A simple search brings up many documents, ranging from the proof of the derivative of sine (here) to the Taylor’s Theorem proof (here). These documents are available for a wide variety of topics, from calculus to graph theory to kinematics.

Time Management is another piece that many of the students identified. We know this can be hard, especially when there are so many things to juggle, so we’ve created a document to help you plan out your time, available here!

                                                          

Using the document, you can see how many hours in a day that you’re using for sleep, studying, and everything else you can think of. We hope this helps you to keep track of just how many hours in a day you can realistically study!

Now, we know that studying isn’t the only hard part of a midterm. The mindset piece is critical, along with studying. Let’s see what the students had to say about it!

One of the students surveyed responded with “I am going to fail at some point. It is inevitable, and that is okay”. This is a great mindset for everyone to have. Remember that even failure isn’t failure. Learning something from any experience is a success, even if the outcome wasn’t what you wanted. There’s always next time, and time to learn even more and improve.

Another student discussed the importance of a positive mindset, saying “Stay calm, stay confident, and as long as you try your best you will do great!” Remember, in the end, the best you can do is all you can do.

We know midterms are a stressful time. Take care of yourself as we at Maplesoft continue to support you.

Vous venez de découvrir vos résultats du bac blanc et n’avez pas obtenus les résultats espérés à l’épreuve de mathématiques ?

Maple Learn pourrait vous aider à améliorer vos connaissances et vous préparer pour le vrai baccalauréat.

Commencez par revoir les théorèmes et définitions essentielles en explorant les documents de la galerie Maple Learn. Si vous avez des doutes sur certaines définitions; n’hésitez pas à utiliser les outils graphiques de Maple Learn pour approfondir vos connaissances

Consultez ces documents ici et ici.

Ensuite entrainez-vous à faire vos exercices avec Maple Learn

Consultez ce document ici.

Et enfin vérifiez vos résultats avec la Calculatrice Maple pour voir les étapes de résolutions :


N’hésitez pas à partager en commentaire vos astuces pour réviser avec Maple Learn ou la Calculatrice Maple!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is celebrated all around the world on this day, but did you know of some other love celebrations, and some of the mythology around the holiday?

First of all, Cupid. We all know of the image of Cupid and his bow, shooting arrows to make couples fall in love. But where exactly did this come from?

Cupid is a Latin deity, the son of Venus and Mars. With his parents being love and war, it’s no surprise that he ended up with a bow! In one legend, he shoots a golden arrow at Apollo, which makes him fall in love with a nymph. Unfortunately for Apollo, he also shoots a lead arrow at the nymph, making her repulsed by him.

Roses are another popular tradition with Valentine’s Day. Red roses persist as a symbol of Aphrodite, the mother of Cupid, and are a symbol of love. Did you know you can draw them in Maple Learn with our geometry palette? See one rendition below of a stained glass rose. The link to the document is HERE.

Now, there are a few other love traditions around the world. Did you know that not everyone celebrates love only on Valentine’s Day? There are other important days around the world, and some pre-date Valentine’s Day.

For example, in China, the Miao people celebrate the Sister’s Meal Festival, likely our earliest form of a Valentine’s Day tradition in the world. This occurs in March. Young women make dyed rice representing the different seasons, and when the men come by to sing, they give them packages of the rice. Inside the rice are objects, each with different meanings. A pair of red chopsticks means the woman returns the man’s affection, while one red chopstick is a polite refusal. A clove of garlic or a chili pepper means a strong refusal, and pine needles mean that she is waiting for him to woo her.

We’ve created a document to join in on the fun, even if you’re not participating in this Festival this year. Follow the link HERE to work with fraction tiles to pack your own rice packages, and your own responses to declarations of love. 

We hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s day!

You heard us right! With the new update of Maple Learn, we’ve added a few more interesting features, perfect to keep your math learning going.

Before we dig too far into these exciting features, we just have one quick thing to let you know about. We have updated the font sizes for Maple Learn text, adding 20 and 22 point font, and removing 36 and 120 point font.

Now, let’s talk new features. First, we’ve added support for partial derivatives, allowing you to calculate derivatives for functions with two or more variables. How does this work? Well, take a look at our example document HERE. The button for entering a partial derivative is located in the functions palette. You can plot them too (shown below)!

We’ve also added support for shaded Geometric Primitives. Remember our earlier post about MAPLE LEARN ART? Well, now you can color in your shapes! This allows for further math-related art, or ease of communication while teaching about area, or really, anything else you can think of! See how to use this HERE. In essence, with the shaded command, you can now place a geometric primitive inside the shaded command, which shades it! As well, you can assign a variable to a geometric primitive, and then place that inside the shaded command. This allows for a different color outline than the shaded section.

Ever wanted to create a sequence in Maple Learn? Well, now you can easily, with our new sequence support. The syntax is simple, focusing on the start, end, and steps. See how to use this HERE. We hope this can be used for all kinds of documents!

We hope you enjoy all the new features we’ve added to Maple Learn. Let us know in the comments what you think of them, and show us what you’re working on! Simply leave a comment with a link to a Maple Learn document, and we’ll gladly take a look at your ideas.

Happy Lunar New Year to everyone here in the MaplePrimes community, as we enter the Year of the Tiger! There are different traditions followed in the many countries around the world where the Lunar New Year is celebrated. In my own Canadian-Chinese family, we usually cook a big meal and share with family members and friends. 

The pandemic has made this year's celebration more muted, but I did cook a large batch of our favourite dumplings and made up several packages to take to friends. That led to the question: how many ways can I arrange 10 dumplings on a plate from the 3 kinds I made? Of course, that called for a Maple Learn document to compute the answer: A Counting Problem: Selecting Dumplings
 


I was also interested in understanding the formula used in this computation, and so I created a second document showing a special case of this problem. By moving the sliders around, you can see how the "Stars and Bars" method for counting the ways one can choose a number of items from distinct bins works: Visualization the Stars and Bars Method.

I hope you enjoy trying out these documents and I wish everyone good health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year!

In November, I posted a message announcing that we have been working on an updated version of the Application Center, and invited comments from anyone wanting to check out the beta site. I received multiple comments, both as comments to that post, as well as directly, and we made a lot of changes based on the feedback. Thank you very much to everyone who responded.

I am now very happy to report that the new Application Center is now open to the public!

For those who aren't familiar with it, the Application Center has been around for over 20 years, and it provides a place for our user community to post and share their work. It includes over over 2,700 applications and examples covering a wide array of topics and disciplines, and all are freely available to download.

The previous version of the Application Center was overdue for a refresh. And while we were in there applying a fresh coat of paint, we also took the opportunity to add some new features and capabilities that we hope you will enjoy. As a quick summary of what has changed:

  • The look and feel has been significantly updated. It is cleaner, more modern and easier to use.
  • In addition to search, user-created collections and tags make it easier than ever to find and discover content.
  • Logged-in users can customize the site by pinning their favorite collections and content.
  • Logged-in users can also take advantage of their community reputation to help maintain the content in MaplePrimes, and your contributions will now contribute to your reputation scores. For example, when someone likes one of your apps, your reputation score will be increased by 5.
  • In addition to Maple content, Maple Flow documents are also now included. The collection is very small right now, but it will grow quickly.

There are plenty of other features and enhancements as well.

So without further ado, I invite you to check out the Application Center and to continue to provide your comments and suggestions!

Bryon

When I was in middle school, I was really into puzzles.  At one point I attempted the Three Utilities Problem.  This famous problem is deceptively simple: three houses and three “utilities” (heating, water, and electricity) are represented by dots on a flat piece of paper.  The goal is to connect each house to the three utilities without crossing any lines.

Figure 1: A starting setup.

I spent hours drawing lines.  I eventually looked it up online, and the internet told me that the problem was impossible.  I didn’t believe it, and tried for several more hours until I was forced to accept its impossibility.  I still remember this intense stint of puzzling to this day.

    

Figure 2: Cue twelve-year-old me saying “I’ll get it eventually…”

Looking back, I wonder if this sparked my interest in graph theory.  I know now that the Three Utilities Problem is truly unsolvable.  I know that the graph’s formal name is K3,3 and I know a full graph theory proof explaining its nonplanarity.  Nevertheless, I still love this puzzle, and I’ve recently recreated it in Maple Learn.

To do this, I created a table of x and y values and plotted all of them using the Point() command.  This allows the points to be fully click-and-drag-able.  Line segments joining two points automatically move with the points as well.  We then have a fully interactive graph directly in the Maple Learn plot window.  I can move the “houses” and “utilities” around all I want to try and solve the unsolvable.  I can also create other graphs to further explore planarity, paths, matchings, or any other aspects of the wide world of graph theory.

If you want to check out the document for yourself, it can be found here

I’m looking for users’ favourite tips and tricks in Maple Learn. Specifically, small pieces of advice that most people don’t know about, but that helped you create better Maple Learn documents. For instance,

  • A favorite feature that you think is hard to discover;
  • Common techniques you use when creating documents;
  • Things about Maple Learn you wish you knew when you started.

These tricks could be for newbies or for experienced users.

To start off the discussion, let me share three of my own favorite tricks in Maple Learn.

1. Using Documents from the Document Gallery

Writing a Maple Learn document from scratch can seem overwhelming, especially for beginners. A much easier way to create documents is to start with a template from the Document Gallery.

There are hundreds of Maple Learn documents in the Document Gallery, available here. Instead of writing Maple Learn documents from scratch, I like to search the gallery for documents relating to my topic. I then select a document, and just modify it slightly to get what I want.

2. Toggling from Math Mode to Text Mode

If you want to write text in a group element, it’s best to toggle to text mode (otherwise Maple Learn will treat your text as math).

While this can be done using the toolbar, there is a nifty keyboard shortcut to toggle to text mode: place your cursor at the beginning of the group element, and press the space key.

3. Using Double Arrows in Plots to Show Distance

Here’s one for the advanced users. The Vector Command lets you draw arrows on a Maple Learn plot. Combine two such arrows of the same colour going in opposite directions, and you get a double arrow (see below), which I like to use to represent distances in my Maple Learn documents.

Indeed, here is an example document where I use double arrows to provide a visualization of the product rule in calculus (plot pictured below). Notice how the double arrows (created using the vector command) represent distances in the plot.

Comment your favourite tips and tricks down below!

Since the start of the pandemic, I have been involved in online mathematics tutoring. I tried many different applications to best communicate with my students, and ended up sticking with Maple Learn. Here’s my setup, and why I chose Maple Learn.

My Setup

When I have an online tutoring session, I join a scheduled video call to “see” my students. I then open a blank Maple Learn document, and share my screen. I explain whatever I need to explain, while writing key information on the Maple Learn document. When I don’t want Learn to interpret what I write, I go into text mode; when I do (e.g. when I want to graph a function), I stay in math mode. When the class is over, I send the document’s sharelink to my students by email, so that they can access it. 

Here is an example of a Maple Learn document (pictured below) that I created while teaching trigonometry to a student. Keep in mind that I typed this while on call with the student, so the document is very simple - it only uses the most basic features of Maple Learn.

 

Why I Chose Maple Learn

My main student wants me to teach him trigonometry ahead of it being taught to him at school. For this, I need to be able to write lots of text and math easily, while on video call with him. 

Microsoft Word is not good enough for this: the equation editor is too clumsy. I also tried drawing tools where you can move your mouse to draw on the screen, but they make it too hard to write text. I even tried pointing a camera at my desk and writing the notes by hand, but my handwriting is terrible, and I could never find the right position for the camera. That’s the main reason why I chose Maple Learn: it lets me write both text and math quickly and simply, unlike many other applications.

There are some other benefits to using Maple Learn. I like that I can organize what I write in a visually appealing manner on the canvas, by moving groups around. I like that I can graph functions within Maple Learn, without having to open a graphing calculator in a separate tab. Finally, I find the sharelink feature convenient for sending the notes to my students after class.

Disclaimer: I discovered Maple Learn while working at Maplesoft during a co-op term.

Are you teaching a calculus course? Then use Maple Learn, Maplesoft’s free online product, to do so.

Below are some examples of calculus documents you can create in Maple Learn.

 

1. Documents Explaining Concepts with Interactive Visuals

Example: Visualizing the Formal Definition of the Derivative

 

2. Interactive Quizzes

Example: The Product Rule: Practice Questions

 

3. Documents Using Maple to Perform Complex Operations

Example: Taylor Series Approximation Calculator

 

Maplesoft’s learn content team has already created about 200 Maple Learn calculus documents! The full list is here. You can modify these documents easily, and use them to teach your calculus class as well.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, at Maplesoft, I have the privilege of working with some of the most talented and creative minds around. My colleagues are constantly pushing the boundaries of what we can build and what our products can do.Christmas Wreath in Maple Learn

So to close out 2021, I wanted to share a video that one of our brilliant developers, Marek, sent the company. Marek emails a greeting every year wishing his Maplesoft colleagues a Happy Holiday.  Well, this year, he stepped it up a notch and created this superb video explaining "How to decorate for Christmas using Math", where he created a wreath using Maple Learn.

Watching the video brought a smile to my face, and I know it did the same for others.

I hope this video warms your heart as it did mine. On behalf of all of us at Maplesoft, Happy Holidays!

Recently, the Maple Learn team hosted an internal Maple Learn day. The team encouraged Maplesoft employees to create Maple Learn content. A lot of art was created.

Below is a link to an example of Maple Learn art, and a picture relating to it. The document is interactive, so open it to see what it does.

Christmas Art, by Marek Krzeminski - Senior Architect at Maplesoft

If you too like to combine math and art, use Maple Learn here to create artwork yourself, and share it with us in the comments.


 

Recently I decided to compare continuity, related notions, and differentiability. Can a function be differentiable, but not continuous? What about uniformly continuous, but not differentiable? I used Maplesoft's new online product, Maple Learn (free to use at learn.maplesoft.com), to explore.

Here is a Maple Learn document I created. It is an organizational diagram, as shown below. Each rectangle in the diagram corresponds to a different property that a function may satisfy. Within each rectangle, examples are provided of functions satisfying the appropriate properties.

If you click on an example, it will be selected, and the corresponding function will be plotted in Maple Learn's context panel. Try it!

I've also created companion documents to explain certain concepts in greater detail. For instance, below is a snapshot of a document explaining uniform continuity, which you can access here.

By using sliders in the document, you can move and resize the rectangle drawn in the graph. You should notice when doing this that the green function never touches the horizontal sides of the rectangle. This turns out to be the "reason" why the function is uniformly continuous.

You can find a companion document on Lipschitz continuity here.

I’ve learnt a lot about continuity in creating the documents shown. I hope that you too have learnt something from them!

The most frequent question I get asked when presenting Maple Learn is: “How is Maple Learn different from Desmos?”  The second most frequent question is: “How is Maple Learn different from GeoGebra?”. And they are great questions! Why invest time in learning and introducing students to something new if it works and behaves exactly like something you already use? I certainly wouldn’t bother, and I can’t imagine that anyone else would either. So, in this post, I will do my best to articulate the differences as succinctly as possible, and we’ll be happy to arrange a demo for anyone who is interested in learning more.  Are you ready for another top 3 list!?

Disclaimer: Before we dive in, I’d like to start by saying that Desmos and GeoGebra are great tools. This post is not intended to disparage them. Rather my goal is to highlight the things that make Maple Learn unique.

So without further ado:

1. Maple Learn is the equivalent to doing math on paper, just better!

Maple Learn is akin to a digital math notebook. The canvas gives students the same feeling as solving a math problem on paper – the ability to work through a problem line by line, with explanations, notes, and additional calculations wherever they want them on the page – only with extras. Students can also use Maple Learn to perform tedious intermediate steps, see a graph to get a better sense of the problem, vary parameters to explore the effect on graphs and results, do a quick side calculation to double-check an individual step, and verify the final result.

2. Maple Learn takes a more holistic approach to learning

Where other tools focus predominately on visualization and getting the final answer, the Maple Learn environment supports much more of the teaching and learning experience.  Students can articulate their thought processes and mathematical reasoning using a combination of text, math, plots and images that can be placed anywhere on the canvas. Teachers can devise lessons in Maple Learn that focus not just on solving problems, but on developing skills in mathematical thinking, communication, and all the competencies and standards outlined in the curriculum. For example, instead of having your students work through the minutia of solving for x from two equations, you can create a document that focuses on having them set up the problem correctly, and then let them use the content panel to get the solution. Or you can use interactive supports, such as Algebra Tiles, to allow them to explain the concept of Completing the Square. Or give them an equation, and ask them to jot down features of the equation. The questions you can pose and the discussion that arises as a result is what sets Maple Learn apart from the rest. Because ultimately, the study of mathematics and science is about understanding, not the final answer.

3. Maple Learn is about math not commands

Maple Learn is an environment for learning math and math-based subjects, not about learning commands. So how do you perform an operation in Maple Learn? Easy! Maple Learn’s intelligent context-sensitive panel offers students a list of relevant operations to choose from, based on the mathematical equation or expression in question. This feature was first introduced in Maple over two decades ago, and it’s one of the most beloved features of students, teachers, and new Maple users, so of course we included it in Maple Learn. The context panel means that you and your students can focus on learning math not commands.

And here’s a bonus for making it all the way through:

4. You can pull math into Maple Learn really easily using the Maple Calculator

Let’s face it, for now at least, there will always be students who will feel more comfortable doing math on paper. It’s like tomato soup and grilled cheese – some things are meant to go together. So to make the transition from paper to digital easier, students can take a picture of their problem, or even their completed handwritten solution and bring them into Maple Learn instantly. That way, they can have the comfort of paper, AND the advantages of the digital environment. (I’d say something about having their cake and eating it too, but all this talk of food is making me hungry!)

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