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These are Posts that have been published by eithne

We have just released a new version of MapleSim.  The MapleSim 2018 family of products offers new tools for developing digital twins, greater connectivity with other modeling tools, and expanded modeling scope. Improvements include:

  • New tools for creating motion profiles
  • FMI  import for FMI 2.0 Fixed-Step Co-Simulation
  • Optimized handling of large models
  • Inclusion of temperature effects in the MapleSim Hydraulics Library from Modelon and MapleSim Pneumatics Library from Modelon
  • Heat transfer through air and water with the MapleSim Heat Transfer Library from CYBERNET

See What’s New in MapleSim 2018 for more information about these and other improvements.

Just over a year ago, someone asked me if Maple could help them pick names for their family gift exchange, because they were fed up with trying to find a solution by hand that met all their requirements. I knew it could be done, of course, and I spent some time (and at least one family dinner conversation) talking about how to do it. There wasn’t enough time to help my friend last year, but I dusted off my ideas, and my somewhat rusty Maple programming skills, and put something together for this year.

The problem, as stated to me, was “Assign everyone in the group the name of someone else in the group (the person they will buy a present for), with the restriction that no one can be assigned their partner.”

I decided to generalize a bit so that you can specify more than one person in the “do not pick” list for each individual, and the restrictions do not have to be reciprocal. That way, you can use it with rules like “parents cannot pick their children”, or “Elizabeth got Martin two years running, so she can’t pick him again this year”.

Ultimately I went with a “guess and check” approach. For each person, pick a name from the pool of suitable candidates (excluding themselves, anyone on their “do not pick” list, and anyone who has been picked already). Keep assigning names until either everyone has a name, or you end up in a situation where you can’t give someone a name. This can happen, for instance, if Todd is the last name, and the only unmatched name is Catherine, and Todd cannot pick Catherine. If that happens, I tossed all the names back into the virtual hat, gave it a good shake (i.e. randomize()) and tried again. Not as elegant as I would have liked, but it seemed like an effective approach.

It does feel like there ought to be a “nicer” solution. Maybe using graph theory? I know that my code will get into trouble if the restrictions are such that no solution exists.  If anyone has any ideas on other/better ways to solve this problem I’d be happy to hear them (now that I’ve had the fun of solving it myself first!).  

The application can be found on the application center: Gift Exchange Helper. The name picker algorithm is in the start-up code.

Happy gift giving!

We have released a small maintenance update to Maple. Maple 2017.3 provides enhancements in several areas, including mathematical typesetting, pdsolve, and the Physics package. It also provides improvements to the MapleCloud, including a fix for a problem that prevented some Mac users from logging on with their Google credentials.

This update is available through Tools>Check for Updates in Maple, and is also available from our website on the Maple 2017.3 download page.


We’ve just released a major new version of MapleSim. The MapleSim 2017 family of products provides new and improved model development and analysis tools, expands modeling scope, introduces new deployment options, and strengthens toolchain connectivity.  Here are some highlights:

  • The new Initialization Diagnostics App further simplifies the initialization task by helping you determine how your initial values are computed and what you need to do to adjust them.
  • The new Modal Analysis App helps you explore and understand the natural vibration modes of your mechanism, so you can determine how to reduce the vibration in the final product. 
  • Over 100 new components include expansions to the Electrical and Magnetic libraries.
  • A new Modelica® code editor makes it easier to create Modelica-based custom components.
  • The MapleSim Heat Transfer Library from CYBERNET, a new add-on component library, provides a comprehensive view into heat transfer effects in your model, enabling you to refine your  design to improve performance and avoid overheating.
  • The new MapleSim Explorer product provides a cost-effective deployment solution that allows you to make MapleSim models available to more people in your organization.


There’s more, of course.  See What’s New in MapleSim for lots more details.


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

  1. Right click on your math expression to bring up a menu of things you can do, like plotting or integrating or solving your expression
  2. 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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