Featured Post

I recently had a wonderful and valuable opportunity to meet with some primary school students and teachers at Holbaek by Skole in Denmark to discuss the use of technology in the classroom. The Danish education system has long been an advocate of using technology and digital learning solutions to augment learning for its students. One of the technology solutions they are using is Maple, Maplesoft’s comprehensive mathematics software tool designed to meet the unique and complex needs of STEM courses. It is rare to find Maple being used at the primary school level, so it was fascinating to see first-hand how Maple is being incorporated at the school.

In speaking with some of the students, I asked them what their education was like before Maple was incorporated into their course. They told me that before they had access to Maple, the teacher would put an example problem on the whiteboard and they would have to take notes and work through the solution in their notebooks. They definitely prefer the way the course is taught using Maple. They love the fact that they have a tool that let them work through the solution and provide context to the answer, as opposed to just giving them the solution. It forces them to think about how to solve the problem. The students expressed to me that Maple has transformed their learning and they cannot imagine going back to taking lectures using a whiteboard and notebook.

Here, I am speaking with some students about how they have adapted Maple to meet their needs ... and about football. Their team had just won 12-1.

 

Mathematics courses, and on a broader level, STEM courses, deal with a lot of complex materials and can be incredibly challenging. If we are able to start laying the groundwork for competency and understanding at a younger age, students will be better positioned for not only higher education, but their careers as well. This creates the potential for stronger ideas and greater innovation, which has far-reaching benefits for society as a whole.

Jesper Estrup and Gitte Christiansen, two passionate primary school teachers, were responsible for introducing Maple at Holbaek by Skole. It was a pleasure to meet with them and discuss their vision for improving mathematics education at the school. They wanted to provide their students experience with a technology tool so they would be better equipped to handle learning in the future. With the use of Maple, the students achieved the highest grades in their school system. As a result of this success, Jesper and Gitte decided to develop primary school level content for a learning package to further enhance the way their students learn and understand mathematics, and to benefit other institutions seeking to do the same. Their efforts resulted in the development of Maple-Skole, a new educational tool, based on Maple, that supports mathematics teaching for primary schools in Denmark.

Maplesoft has a long-standing relationship with the Danish education system. Maple is already used in high schools throughout Denmark, supported by the Maple Gym package. This package is an add-on to Maple that contains a number of routines to make working with Maple more convenient within various topics. These routines are made available to students and teachers with a single command that simplifies learning. Maple-Skole is the next step in the country’s vision of utilizing technology tools to enhance learning for its students. And having the opportunity to work with one tool all the way through their schooling will provide even greater benefit to students.

(L-R) Henrik and Carolyn from Maplesoft meeting with Jesper and Gitte from Holbaek by Skole

 

It helps foster greater knowledge and competency in primary school students by developing a passion for mathematics early on. This is a big step and one that we hope will revolutionize mathematics education in the country. It is exciting to see both the great potential for the Maple-Skole package and the fact that young students are already embracing Maple in such a positive way.

For us at Maplesoft, this exciting new package provides a great opportunity to not only improve upon our relationships with educational institutions in Denmark, but also to be a part of something significant, enhancing the way students learn mathematics. We strongly believe in the benefits of Maple-Skole, which is why it will be offered to schools at no charge until July 2020. I truly believe this new tool has the potential to revolutionize mathematics education at a young age, which will make them better prepared as they move forward in their education.

Featured Post

While googling around for Season 8 spoilers, I found data sets that can be used to create a character interaction network for the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and the TV show they inspired, Game of Thrones.

The data sets are the work of Dr Andrew Beveridge, an associate professor at Macalaster College (check out his Network of Thrones blog).

You can create an undirected, weighted graph using this data and Maple's GraphTheory package.

Then, you can ask yourself really pressing questions like

  • Who is the most influential person in Westeros? How has their influence changed over each season (or indeed, book)?
  • How are Eddard Stark and Randyll Tarly connected?
  • What do eigenvectors have to do with the battle for the Iron Throne, anyway?

These two applications (one for the TV show, and another for the novels) have the answers, and more.

The graphs for the books tend to be more interesting than those for the TV show, simply because of the far broader range of characters and the intricacy of the interweaving plot lines.

Let’s look at some of the results.

This a small section of the character interaction network for the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (this is the entire visualization - it's big, simply because of the shear number of characters)

The graph was generated by GraphTheory:-DrawGraph (with method = spring, which models the graph as a system of protons repelling each other, connected by springs).

The highlighted vertices are the most influential characters, as determined by their Eigenvector centrality (more on this later).

 

The importance of a vertex can be described by its centrality, of which there are several variants.

Eigenvector centrality, for example, is the dominant eigenvector of the adjacency matrix, and uses the number and importance of neighboring vertices to quantify influence.

This plot shows the 15 most influential characters in Season 7 of the TV show Game of Thrones. Jon Snow is the clear leader.

Here’s how the Eigenvector centrality of several characters change over the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

A clique is a group of vertices that are all connected to every other vertex in the group. Here’s the largest clique in Season 7 of the TV show.

Game of Thrones has certainly motivated me to learn more about graph theory (yes, seriously, it has). It's such a wide, open field with many interesting real-world applications.

Enjoy tinkering!



Markiyan Hirnyk

MaplePrimes asked by Christophe... 4870 Yesterday

Function with index/list

Maple asked by Alessandro... 5 Yesterday

DC Motor Back EMF

MapleSim asked by FeBi 10 Yesterday

Install Text Mode

Maple asked by jameswat 0 Today