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Maple

I was asked if I would put together a list of top resources to help students who are using Maple for the first time.  An awful lot of students will be cracking Maple open in the next few weeks (the ones who are keeping up with their assignments, at least – for others, it sometimes takes little longer :-), so it seemed like a good idea.

So then I had to decide what to do. I know Top N lists are very popular (Ten Things that Will Shock You about Your Math Software!), and there are tons of Maple training resources available to fill such a list without any difficulties.  But personally, I don’t always like Top N lists. What are the chances that there are exactly N things you need to know, for nice values of N? And how often you are really interested in all N items? I just want to get straight to the points I care about.

I decided I’d try a matrix. So here you go: a mini “choose your own adventure” guide for getting to know Maple.  Pick the row that corresponds to what you want to do, and the column for how you want to do it.  All on a single, page, and ad-free!

And best of luck for the new school year.

 I like words I like videos Just let me try it Product Overview Inside Maple, from the Help menu, select Take a Tour of Maple then click on the Ten Minute Tour button.   (Okay, even though I like words, too, you might also want to watch the video in the next column. The whole “picture is worth a thousand words” does have some truth to it, much as I don’t always like to admit it. J) Watch Clickable Math.    Keep in mind that if you prefer to use commands instead of these Clickable Math tools, you can do that too.  Personally, I mix and match. You’ll figure it out. Getting Started Info Read the Maple Quick Start Tutorial Guide, as a PDF, or from the Help system. To access this guide from within Maple, start Maple, click on the Getting Started icon the left, then select the Quick Start Guide (first icon in the second row). Watch the Maple Quick Start Tutorial Video. The most important things to remember are Right click on your math expression to bring up a menu of things you can do, like plotting or integrating or solving your expression If you have just entered an exponent or the denominator of a fraction, use the right arrow key to get out of it. How do I? Essentials Look at the “How do I” section of the Maple Portal (Start Maple, click on the Getting Started icon, click on the Maple Portal icon; or search for “MaplePortal” in the help system).  Also look at the Maple Portal for Students, using the button from the Maple Portal. Check out the dozens of videos in the Maple Training Video collection. You can do a lot with the context menus and the various tools you’ll find on the Tools menu. But when in doubt, look at the list of “How do I” tasks from the Maple Portal described in the “words” column and pull out what you need from there. What now? The help system is your friend. Not only does it have help pages for every feature and every command, but it includes both the Maple User Manual and the Maple Programming Guide (also available as PDFs). Check out the collection of videos on the Maplesoft YouTube channel.  (And the help system is your friend, too. We can’t make videos to cover every last thing, and if we did, you wouldn’t have time to watch them all!) Maple comes with many examples and applications you can look at and modify.  You can browse through the Start page resources, or search for “examples,index” in the help system to see the full list.   And yes, the help system is your friend, too.  But don’t worry, no one is going to make you read the manual.

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