In Maple 17, the Student MultivariateCalculus package has been augmented with fifteen new commands relevant for defining and manipulating lines and planes. There already exists a functionality for this in the geom3d package whose structures differ from those in the new Student packages. Students meet "lines and planes" early in the multivariate calculus course; hence, the new implementation of "lines and planes" now resides in the Student MultivariateCalculus package, and is compatible with all the other commands in that package. Moreover, these new commands have been fully integrated into the Context Menu system, so that anything that can be done with the commands themselves can be done syntax-free through the Context Menu.

The new commands for lines and planes are detailed in the Tips and Techniques article "Lines and Planes in the Student MultivatiateCalculus Package" appearing in the Maple Reporter for March 2013. In addition, eleven typical problems from a multivariate calculus course are solved with the new commands, then again solved with the Context Menu system, and solved once again with traditional vector methods.

As you download the Reporter article, consider this: The genesis of the idea to augment the Student MultivariateCalculus package with a functionality for lines and planes was a series of posts to MaplePrimes (e.g., this one about the equation of a line) in which some nonstandard (i.e., challenging) questions were posed. Those that were solved were done mostly with the tools of the geom3d package. It became clear that a newer set of tools was needed, one that could easily be incorporated into the "syntax-free" paradigm of Clickable Calculus.

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