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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.

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Stringing me Along...

January 15 2009 Samir Khan 524
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I was recently forwarded a link to this Snopes article.

According to the urban legend described therein, text is still readable if all the letters in a word apart from the first and last are randomized. I quickly threw together a Maple worksheet, primarily using its flexible string manipulation tools.

Maplesoft goes Social (Networking)...

January 13 2009 Tom 4 724
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Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maplesoft/47238276041. Maplesoft on Facebook? Math talk mingling with my meaningless personal status reports? Are we now laying a clear path for the Maple world to walk right into our private lives? Now I’m worried.

Let’s Get Physical...

January 09 2009 Samir Khan 524
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We’re now at an inflection point in which symbolic technology will automate physical modeling and equation generation through tools like MapleSim. As a recent webinar hosted by Maplesoft and the Society of Automotive Engineers proved, engineers are fascinated by the application of the technology, and the technology itself.

Taking Stock with Benford...

January 07 2009 Samir Khan 524
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  • Voting patterns in Mexico and Florida.
  • The size of files in your Maple 12 installation
  • Stock trading volumes on the NYSE

What do all of these have in common? They, and other data sets drawn from the real world, often follow a non-intuitive pattern called Benford’s Law.

A colleague of mine recently mentioned something to me about an article that circulates every year during the holiday season, entitled “The Physics of Santa Claus”. This was news to me, so I ran a few Google searches to find out what she was talking about.

Thank you … thank you...

December 19 2008 Tom 4 724
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My wife will tell you that I am horrible at remembering important things like birthdays and sending Christmas cards on time … or at all. As we approach the end of another remarkable year, it’s always rewarding to reflect on the events of the year and take the time to thank all those who made the year so remarkable. So, in no particular order

China on my Mind...

December 19 2008 fkern 26
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And probably on your mind as well.

When there isn’t a hot news story about an election, a scandal or a disaster, it seems that China is the constant background music we all hear.  China’s incredible growth.  China’s incredible wealth.  China’s growing need for oil that will soon exceed world production capacity.  China as the manufacturer of everything.

I’m sure you’ve heard the same.

India on My Mind...

December 11 2008 fkern 26
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Two things are focusing my attention on India these days.

The first is something that I’m sure I share with most of you – the sad and terrifying news of recent terrorist attacks.  We all hope that these were acts of small groups and will not lead to wider conflict.

The second is that I am very pleased to be resuming a relationship with a very fine organization in India that I have known for 20 years.  Maplesoft recently announced that Cranes Software International will represent us in India.  I expect exciting things in the coming months and years.

Warning: this blog post contains strong language. Reader discretion is advised. Actually, it’s the posting in the Facebook group “Every time I walk into math class a little part of me dies” that contains the strong language. This group pulls almost 12,000 young students (mostly high school age) who share a common interest – the fear, loathing, and ultimately hatred of math.

Being inept at math is almost a badge of honor for many today. In a social gathering, even an adult one, it won’t be long until someone (typically articulate and educated) blurts out “I’m a complete zero when it comes to math” with some pride. Funny though … you don’t hear many shouting “I can’t read a single word!” with the same enthusiasm.

Come January, a group of Maple experts will be heading to the American capital, not for the presidential inauguration, but to attend the 2009 Joint Mathematics Meetings. This year’s event marks the 115th annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the 92nd meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). 

Good Vibrations...

December 04 2008 Samir Khan 524 MapleSim 1
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Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in Taiwan.  In my first visit to Taipei, I was astounded by the sheer scale of the Taipei 101 skyscraper.  At over 500m tall it dwarfed everything else in the skyline.

Given the proximity of many active fault lines, tall buildings in Taipei have a degree of earthquake protection engineered into them with a tuned mass damper .

I’ve always been fascinated with the relationships between math and music, since they are both fields in which I take a great interest. This week I’ve been delving into some of the history that links the two. For instance, the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (circa 569 - circa 475 BC) is probably best known for the Pythagorean Theorem. However, he also made significant contributions to music, the influences of which can still be seen today.

For the first time, Cybernet decided to coordinate two more major meetings with the TechnoForum – essentially creating a 2-day multiconference. In contrast to the Maplesoft-centric sessions of the Maple Techno Forum on Day 1, the second day was focused on industry problems and the technological and scientific solutions emerging from various sources.

A while back I posted an article on Maplesoft activities in Japan. As planned, last week, some colleagues and I made the trip to Japan and once again, came back with a bag full of stories and insights – technical, business, social, political – you can never spend a week in Japan and not be suitably impressed and surprised by the latest happenings.

I was in Boston last week attending the ASME International Mechanical Engineering conference demonstrating MapleSim, our new tool for physical modeling.  I had the opportunity to speak to a large number of delegates, but I remember one conversation in particular; a professor who taught freshman students was bemoaning the fact that he found it harder and harder to impress students with his relatively simple animations of physics phenomena.  A simple animated pendulum no longer captivated students who were already immersed in the interactive physics-enabled environments of video games.  He had to escalate the intricacy of his demonstrations, but generating them was starting to consume too much of his time.

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