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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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In addition to providing access to powerful tools for mathematical computation, Maple has been designed to help you work quickly and efficiently. Here are 10 useful short-cuts when working with Maple:

1. Use F5 to switch between Text and 2D Math input modes in Maple.

2. Use F2 (Control+? for Macintosh) to quickly bring up Maple Help information for anything that you have typed in your document.

3.  Automatic Command Completion can be used when you don't want to type in the full name of a Maple command. To use, begin typing the first few letters of the command name, and press CTRL+Space (Esc or Command+Shift+Space for Macintosh, CTRL+Shift+Space for Linux).  A list of possible completions will display; click the one you want.


4. The Shift+Enter key combination lets you continue entering math or commands on a new line without executing that line. 

5. If you want more than a single command to be executed at once, you must separate them with a semi-colon or colon.

6. When you click inside a set of commands in Math mode, the dash line indicates the boundaries of the input region; all commands in this region will execute together in sequence.

7. To increase the size of a piecewise function, add a new row.  Place the cursor on the last row, and press CTRL+Shift+R (Command+Shift+R for Macintosh). These shortcut keys also work to add rows to matrices.

8. An easy way to insert a Greek letter is to first press CTRL+Shift+G (Command+Shift+G for the Macintosh). The next letter typed will appear in Greek.

9. Sometimes you may want to insert symbols above or below another character, for example, to enter a vector arrow. To insert a symbol above (called "overscript"), press CTRL+Shift+["] (Command+Shift+["] for Macintosh) and then type in your symbol (or insert it from a palette).

For example, typing "x" then holding down CTRL+Shift and pressing ["] allows you to insert a symbol above the x, such as 

10. Compute or recompute the entire Maple worksheet when you have changed expressions that affect subsequent Maple commands.  Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (Command + Shift + Enter in Macintosh) or click the execute worksheet icon. 

Are there any short-cuts that you would add to this list?

As an educator, you surely know that giving students more involved problems in an online assessment tool provides challenges, both for students and instructors. Only marking the final answer doesn’t necessarily provide an understanding of the student’s capabilities, and it penalizes students that make a small mistake in part of their solution.

This webinar will demonstrate how to create separate questions with multiple steps that can be linked or chained together. Question chaining allows instructors to mark subsequent questions based on the correct answer or the answer provided by students in previous parts.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of Maple 2015, covering from short cuts to how to use the newest features.

    1. Whenever you are asking yourself “..but how do I do it?”, just type ?Portal+Enter, and you will access the Maple Portal, which will give you a complete guide on how to do things.

    2. If you want to implement 1 of the 300 tasks that Maple offers in a syntax-free way, like Completing the Square, just follow this path: Tools≻Tasks≻Browse.

    3. Type Ctrl+F2 or Command+F2 and the Quick Reference window with shortcut keys and other information about working with the Maple interface will pop up.

    4. If you need quick help with a specific mathematical function, click or highlight the function + F2 and a Help box that contains a summary of the basic characteristics of the function will pop up.

    5. If you have installed the Excel Add-in and you want to perform some Maple commands within Excel, make sure to enable the Maple add in by following this path: Excel’s Tool Menu>Add-Ins>Select Maple Excel Add-in Box> OK

    6. Export Maple’s data into Excel by right clicking and choosing ‘Export As’>Excel.

    7. Instead of having to copy-paste your Maple information into a Power Point Presentation, just turn the slideshow mode on by pressing F11. This way you will have an interactive presentation that holds all the live plots and embedded components that Maple offers.

    8. Whenever you want to create interactive mini-applications that can be used to explore the parameters of any arbitrary Maple expression, such as a plot, mathematical equation, or command use the Exploration Assistant. Do this by either right-clicking +Explore from the context-sensitive menus, or by calling the Explore command.

    9. Save time while computing mathematical expressions by calling the equation label instead of having to re-type the equation. Do this by pressing CTRL+L and then input the number that identifies the equation.

    10. Reference mathematical equations or expressions from other documents. First, determine which label is associated with the equation you want. In the main document, select "Insert" > "Reference". From the file dialog, select the file containing the expression. Then select the equation reference number of your equation from the list that appears.

    11. In Maple, the letter "e" entered using the keyboard does not represent the exponential function. The exponential function can be entered using command completion (Ctrl+Space or ESC) or the "exp(a)" item in the Expression Palette (Standard interface only). The exponential can also be entered as:          
      > exp(x)

    12. With Maple 2015 you can now access data sets from various built-in and online data sources. This package is able to access time series data from the data aggregator Quandl, as well as locally installed data from countries and cities. To learn more, click here.

    13. Whenever you assign plots to a variable name, p:=[plot(sin(x)), plot(cos(x))] a thumbnail of the plot will appear instead of the code.

    14. Save time when inputting existing or personalized units. Just click CTRL+SHIFT+U and type the desired units you want.

    15. With Maple 2015 you can now zoom in or out just by pressing CTRL+SCROLL or CTRL+ place two fingers on the pad and move them up to zoom in or down to zoom out.

    16. Convert a Maple Worksheet into Microsoft Word: This can be done using the Export to HTML feature.
      1. Prepare your worksheet as you would like it to appear in the document.
      2. From the "File" menu in Maple, select "Export As ..." > "HTML".
      3. Give the HTML file a name, "output.html" for example.
      4. When the export has completed, start Word, and open the HTML file. If you used "output.html" as the name to save the file as, open the file called "output1.html" into Word.
      5. From the "File" menu in Word, select "Save as Word Document" to save the file. You now have a Word document which contains the content of your Maple worksheet.

        Note: this procedure will work with any Word Processing program that can open an HTML document.

    17. Change Maple’s default input from 2D to 1D:
      1. Open the Tools > Options... menu (Maple > Preferences on a MACINTOSH machine).
      2. Select the Display tab
      3. From "Input Display" menu select Maple Notation
      4. Press the Apply to Session button to make the change take effect for the current Maple session.
      5. Press Apply Globally to have the change take effect permanently. Maple will need to be restarted if you choose Apply Globally for the changes to take effect.

        You may download a set of instruction on how to change your 2D interface to the “Classic” Style here:

We hope that you find this list helpful. Please feel free to add any of your tips or techniques to this post, or to create your own new topic.

A happy Maple recipient...

June 12 2015 Kat 112 Maple

Last month, we received a very kind note from a recipient of one of our sponsorships. Maplesoft sponsors several academic and commercial events throughout the year, providing free copies of Maple or MapleSim to lucky attendees. Audrey was one of the winners of the Elgin Community College Calculus Contest, where she won a copy of Maple. Here’s what she had to say:

Thank you so much for the Maple license.  I have become familiar with Maple during the last school year.  At first the commands were like Chinese to me and I had a rough time getting anything done, but once I made a connection between the commands and what they were doing it was a lot easier.  Even without former knowledge of computer programing, the commands are increasingly intuitive.  Maple has been a huge help to me doing my homework and projects, and even as I was studying for the competition it was useful for checking my answers.  Another reason that I love Maple is that it provides visuals for the difficult concepts we learned in class, such as shell method in Calc II and mixed partial derivatives in Calc III.  I enjoy math, but I thank that Maple has enriched my experience along the way.

Thank you again for your generous gift, 


It’s always nice to hear how students and professionals alike are succeeding with the help of Maple. If you’d like to share your experience, please send an email to or post it here on MaplePrimes.

Eigenpairs - Live!...

June 12 2015 rlopez 1562

You are teaching linear algebra, or perhaps a differential equations course that contains a unit on first-order linear systems. You need to get across the notion of the eigenpair of a matrix, that is, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, what they mean, how are they found, for what are they useful.

Of course, Maple's Context Menu can, with a click or two of the mouse, return both eigenvalues and eigenvectors. But that does not satisfy the needs of the student: an answer has been given but nothing has been learned. So, of what use is Maple in this pedagogical task? How can Maple enhance the lessons devoted to finding and using eigenpairs of a matrix?

In this webinar I am going to demonstrate how Maple can be used to get across the concept of the eigenpair, to show its meaning, to relate this concept to the by-hand algorithms taught in textbooks.

Ah, but it's not enough just to do the calculations - they also have to be easy to implement so that the implementation does not cloud the pedagogic goal. So, an essential element of this webinar will be its Clickable format, free of the encumbrance of commands and their related syntax. I'll use a syntax-free paradigm to keep the technology as simple as possible while achieving the didactic goal.

Notes added on July 7, 2015:

We’re trying out something new with our webinars and are hosting our first ever live streaming webinar. Broadcast in real time, and featuring Jonny Zivku, our Maple T.A. Product Manager, this will be your chance to see the face behind the voice, as well as learn more about how academic institutions around the world are using Maple T.A. We hope you can join us.

Here are the full details:

Transforming Testing and Assessment with Maple T.A.

In this webinar, you will learn how Maplesoft's testing and assessment system, Maple T.A., is being used to improve learning, save money, reduce drop-out rates, and increase student satisfaction at academic institutions around the world.

The following Maple T.A. case studies will be presented:

  • The University of Waterloo saved $100,000/year on their grading budget
  • At the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, student pass rates went up approximately 20% within one year
  • The University of Canterbury continued to offer their full academic program after an earthquake damaged classrooms
  • At the University of Guelph, drop-out rates were reduced by more than 10%
  • ...And more!

All attendees of this webinar will be sent a complimentary copy of the Maplesoft magazine Transforming Testing and Assessment.

To join us for the live streaming webinar, please click here to register.

The trailers for the new Star Wars movie (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) introduced a new Droid called BB-8. This curious little guy features a spherical body and a controlled instrumented head. More recently, the BB-8 droid was showcased in a Star Wars celebration event and to many peoples' surprise it is real and not a CGI effect!

We have a Sphero robot from Orbotix here at the office, and there was an immediate connection between BB-8 and the Sphero. All that remains is to add the head!

Many have already put together their version of the BB-8, but I wanted to have a physical model that I can play with in a virtual environment and explore some design options.



To build a model of BB-8 like robotic system in MapleSim (Maplesoft's physical modeling software environment), I first needed a couple things in place before going forward:

  1. A few simple CAD shapes (half-sphere, wheels)

  2. A component to represent the contact between two spheres (both outside contact and inside contact)

I used Maple’s plottools package to build the CAD files I needed. First a half-spherical shape:

Then a wheel:


The next step was to create the contact component in MapleSim. I used a Modelica custom component to bring together vector calculations of normal and tangential forces with a variety of options for convenience into one component:



Build the model:

We start with a spherical shape contacting the ground:


Then we add two wheels inside it, and a hanging mass to keep the reference axis vertical when the wheels turn:


Learning from published diagrams showing the internal mechanism of a Sphero, another set of free wheels improves the overall stability when motion commands are given to the two active wheels:


Now this model can be used to move around the surface by giving speed commands to the individual motors that drive to the two bottom wheels. What is needed next is the head and the mechanism to move it around.

Since the head can move almost freely, independent of body rotation, it has to be controlled via magnetic contacts and a controlled arm.

First, we add the control arm:


Now we need to build the head.

The head has an identical triangle to the one at the end of the control arm. At each vertex there is a ball bearing that would slide on the surface of the main spherical body without friction. The magnetic force between the corresponding vertices of the two triangles is modeled via the available point-to-point force element in MapleSim.



Once assembled, the MapleSim model diagram looks like this:


...and our BB-8 droid looks like this:



Seeing the BB-8 in action:

Now that we have constructed our droid in MapleSim, we can animate and see it in action!


Maplesoft regularly hosts live webinars on a variety of topics. Below you will find details on upcoming webinars we think may be of interest to the MaplePrimes community.  For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit our website.

Case Study: Transforming a University's Placement Testing Process

This webinar will feature the story of how the University of the Virgin Islands moved their placing testing process from paper and pen to using the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) placement tests offered through the Maple T.A. testing environment. Instructors at the university now handpick questions to create their own placement tests that best fit the course they are teaching. From there, they are able to analyze the data and craft lessons based on student performance. The end result is that students are more satisfied with the education they are receiving and instructors have made enormous gains with regards to efficiency and flexibility.

To join us for the live presentation with Dr. Celil Ekici from the University of the Virgin Islands, please click here to register.

Getting Started with Maple

This webinar is designed for the user who comes to Maple for the first time. It will demonstrate “how to get started” by clarifying the user interface and the ways math can be entered into Maple, and then “processed.” Coverage includes

  • Entering mathematical expressions and interacting with them in a syntax-free way.
  • The difference between input in mathematical notation and “linear” or text form.
  • The role of the Context Sensitive Menu system for interacting with mathematical objects.
  • Graphing and interacting with various types of graphs, including animations, surfaces, and implicit plots.
  • Use of built-in tools such as Assistants, Tutors, and Task Templates.
  • The Maple help system and the Maple Portal.
  • Introduction to differential equations and matrix manipulations.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

As you saw in the Maple 2015 What’s New, the MapleCloud is now online at  In addition to accessing MapleCloud content from within Maple, you can now use a web browser to view and interact with MapleCloud documents. The new online MapleCloud is based on HTML5 and works across a broad range of browsers. No plugins. No Java.

The MapleCloud was first introduced about five years ago, in Maple 14, and has allowed Maple users around the globe to share worksheets and Math Apps with fellow users. The Maple Cloud allows you to create groups in order to share content with specific people, as well as sharing them publicly.  Today we count over 1400 such groups that have been created for a class, a project or a workgroup, hosting tens of thousands of Maple worksheets, with thousands of worksheets being up- and down-loaded every month. Feedback has been tremendous, and clearly, this feature has hit a nerve with our user community and has attracted a strong following.

A common use case is to set up a MapleCloud group for a class in order to exchange Maple material among students and instructors. Some teachers are using this as the primary mechanism for submitting and marking assignments. Just as common is to use the MapleCloud as a convenient way to exchange and review documents while working on a joint project. Many users also use the Cloud to store their own documents in a private online space so that they can access them from multiple computers and locations. Wherever they have access to Maple, they also have access to all their Maple documents.

Then, there are the public groups in the MapleCloud, where users around the world freely share applications and examples; it’s a treasure trove of material covering all sorts of topics from calculus to fractals.

Now online, the MapleCloud continues to be a great repository for Maple content, but in addition, there are also some new aspects. For starters, it is really easy to share a Maple worksheet or Math App with someone else by simply giving them a URL. Click on it and the Maple worksheet opens in your web browser and all interactive components and plots are live - you can change parameters, calculate new results and update plots. For example, you can try out a Password Security tool or explore the Vertex of a Parabola. Maple is not required for consuming content in this way. But if you do have Maple, another click downloads the document to your local copy of Maple, where you can modify and extend it.

The online MapleCloud is a great way to manage your documents and share Maple content with students and colleagues.  This, of course, is only one more step towards making all of our technology available online and you will see more unfold over the course of this year!

Maplesoft regularly hosts live webinars on a variety of topics. Below you will find details on an upcoming webinar we think may be of interest to the MaplePrimes community.  For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit our website.

See What’s New in Maple 2015 for Educators

Maple 2015 is a major new release of Maple, the technical computing software used for education, research, and development involving mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. With Maple 2015, Maplesoft offers important new abilities to both educators and researchers, particularly in the areas of data analysis, application development and statistics education. This webinar will provide a complete overview of these new features, including:

• A new interface to access, work with, and visualize millions of datasets in the areas of finance, economics, and demographics.
• New facilities for developing Math Apps, including a new microphone and speaker component.
• Advances in integration, differential equations, interactive maps, group theory, physics, and more.
• New Clickable Math tools, including palettes and 60 new interactive Math Apps.
• New tutors, palettes and Math Apps designed explicitly for teaching and learning statistics.
• And more!

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Math powers the world. From tracking the spread of an epidemic to designing a new rocket engine, mathematical equations allow us to understand a challenge and formulate an approach to solving it. Everywhere around us, math is ubiquitous; an equation determines how your thermostat controls your home furnace; a mathematical algorithm is used to encode the signal from your cell phone. More than ever, we rely on mathematics to make our lives better. And continually, our mathematical techniques get more refined as we solve more and more complex problems.

Maplesoft regularly hosts live webinars on a variety of topics. Below you will find details on upcoming webinars we think may be of interest to the MaplePrimes community.  For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit our website.

Introduction to the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite – Part #2

This webinar will provide attendees with a more detailed guide to the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite. The presentation will go beyond the basics to introduce each type of placement test, including algorithmic tests, calculator-based tests, concept readiness tests, and more. A few topics will be explored in the context of each different test type. The presentation will conclude with an explanation of how to set cut-off scores for your institution, as well as how the placement tests were created and validated by the Mathematical Association of America.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Creating Questions in Maple T.A. – Part #3

This presentation is the third installment of a series that explores question authoring in Maple T.A., Maplesoft’s testing and assessment solution for courses involving mathematics. This final webinar will focus on creating advanced Maple-graded questions using intuitive algorithms.

In case you missed them, the first webinar in the series provided an overview of the question repository and how to create various types of basic questions. The second webinar in the series focused on how to create better questions using the question designer, and introduced more advanced question types such as sketch and free body diagram. 

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Happy New Year! Now that 2014 is behind us, I thought it would be interesting to look back on the year and recap our most popular webinars. I’ve gathered together a list of the top 10 academic webinars from 2014 below. All these webinars are available on-demand, and you can watch the recording by clicking on the webinar titles below.


See What’s New in Maple 18 for Educators

In this webinar, an expert from Maplesoft will explore new features in Maple 18, including improved tools for developing quizzes, enhanced tools for visualizations, updated user interface, and more.

Introduction to Teaching Calculus with Maple: A Complete Kit

During this webinar you will learn how to boost student engagement with highly interactive lectures, reinforce concepts with built-in “what-if” explorations, consolidate learning with carefully-constructed homework questions, and more.

Maplesoft Solutions for Math Education

In this webinar, you will learn how Maple, The Möbius Project, and Maplesoft’s testing and assessment solutions are redefining mathematics education.

Teaching Concepts with Maple

This webinar will demonstrate the Teaching Concepts with Maple section of our website, including why it exists and how to use it to help students learn concepts more quickly and with greater insight and understanding.

Revised Calculus Study Guide - A Clickable-Calculus Manual

This webinar will provide an overview of the Revised Calculus Study Guide, the most complete guide to how Maple can be used in teaching and learning calculus without first having to learn any commands.

Clickable Engineering Math: Interactive Engineering Problem Solving

In this webinar, general engineering problem-solving methods are presented using clickable techniques in the application areas of mechanics, circuits, control, and more.

Hollywood Math 2

In this second installment of the Hollywood Math webinar series, we will present some more examples of mathematics being used in Hollywood films and popular hit TV series.

Robotics Design in Maple and MapleSim

In this webinar, learn how to quickly create multi-link robots by simply defining DH parameters in MapleSim. After a model is created, learn to extract the kinematic and dynamic equations symbolically in Maple.

Introduction to Maple T.A. 10

This webinar will demonstrate the key features of Maple T.A. from both the instructor and student viewpoint, including new features in Maple T.A. 10.

The Möbius Project: Bringing STEM Courses Online

View this presentation to better understand the challenges that exist today when moving a STEM course online and to find out how the Maplesoft Teaching Solutions Group can help you realize your online course vision.


Are there any topics you’d like to see us present in 2015? Make sure to leave us a comment with your ideas!


Maplesoft regularly hosts live webinars on a variety of topics. Below you will find details on upcoming webinars we think may be of interest to the MaplePrimes community.  For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit our website.

Creating Questions in Maple T.A. – Part #1

This webinar will demonstrate how to create questions in Maple T.A., Maplesoft’s testing and assessment solution for any course involving mathematics. The presentation will begin with an overview of the basic types of questions available, and then delve into how to create various types of questions in Maple T.A. Incorporating algorithms and feedback directly into questions will also be touched on. Finally, the session will wrap up with an explanation and several examples of how to create better questions using the question designer.

This first webinar in a two part series will cover true/false, multiple choice, numeric, mathematical formula, fill in the blank, sketch, and FBD questions. A second webinar that demonstrates more advanced question types will follow.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Clickable Calculus: Linear Algebra

In this webinar, Dr. Robert Lopez will apply the techniques of “Clickable Calculus” to standard calculations in Linear Algebra.

Clickable Calculus, the idea of powerful mathematics delivered using very visual, interactive point-and-click methods, offers educators a new generation of teaching and learning techniques. Clickable Calculus introduces a better way of engaging students so that they fully understand the materials they are being taught. It responds to the most common complaint of faculty who integrate software into the classroom – time is spent teaching the tool, not the concepts.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Maplesoft regularly hosts live webinars on a variety of topics. Below you will find details on some upcoming webinars we think may be of interest to the MaplePrimes community.  For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit our website.

Maplesoft Solutions for Math Education

This webinar will demonstrate how Maplesoft’s solutions for mathematics education help teachers bring complex problems to life, allow students to focus on concepts rather than the mechanics of solutions, and offer students the necessary practice to master the concepts being taught.

Key takeaways include:

• How to quickly and painlessly place incoming students in the correct math courses

• How you can use hundreds of intuitive Clickable Math tools to demonstrate and explore up to advanced-level problems and algorithms in the classroom

• How to automate your testing and assessment needs, specifically for math courses

• How to bring your STEM courses to life in an online environment

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

Introduction to Maple T.A. Placement Test Suite 10

This webinar will provide an overview and demonstration of the latest release of the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite. A result of the ongoing partnership between the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and Maplesoft, this product gives you the ability to provide the renowned MAA placement tests in an online testing environment. Learn how the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite can greatly simplify your placement process and explore the latest additions, including a streamlined interface and new tests to determine your students’ readiness for Precalculus and Algebra courses.

To join us for the live presentation, please click here to register.

There is also a recording available from another live webinar we did earlier this month: Introduction to Maple T.A. 10.

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