With the launch of Maple 2017, we really wanted to showcase some of the amazing people that work so hard to make Maple. We wanted to introduce our developers to our awesome user community, put names to faces, and have some fun in the process.
We’ll be doing this Q&A session from time to time with team members from the Maple, MapleSim, Maple T.A. and Möbius development groups.
My first Q&A is with Math Architect, Paulina Chin. If you’re a regular MaplePrimes user, you’ll know her as @pchin. Let’s get right into the questions.
- What do you do at Maplesoft?
I’m a member of the Math Software group. Much of my time goes toward developing and maintaining parts of the Maple library, but I occasionally develop Maple content related to math education as well.
- What did you study in school?
I started in Applied Mathematics and then continued with graduate work in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. My graduate and post-doc research were in the area of numeric computation.
- What area(s) of Maple are you currently focusing on in your development?
For many years, I’ve been working on the plotting and typesetting features in Maple. I also work on the Grading package and related applications.
- What’s the coolest feature of Maple that you’ve had a hand in developing?
The Typesetting (2-D math) system in Maple is undoubtedly the most challenging and complex project I’ve worked on, and it involves careful coordination among a team of developers. I’m not sure others would see it as cool, because the features are not flashy like some of the visualization features I’ve worked on. However, whenever we implement a new feature and it works well, it’s really satisfying because it makes mathematics that much more accessible to users.
- What do you like most about working at Maplesoft? How long have you worked here?
I’ve been at Maplesoft 17 years and my work has never been boring. I especially enjoy being surrounded by a very diverse and dedicated group of co-workers, and it’s terrific when we get new students, interns and visitors who come from all parts of the world. All of these people contribute to the great atmosphere here.
- Favorite hobby?
I like discussing books as much as reading them. I run several book clubs, including the one here at Maplesoft. I also enjoy working with young people and volunteer at my daughter’s high school, helping students train for programming contests.
- What do you like on your pizza?
Pineapple and hot peppers.
- What’s your favourite movie?
I have so many favourites that it’s hard to answer this question. At the moment, I might say Notorious, The Empire Strikes Back, and Annie Hall, but ask me again next week and I’ll probably give you a different list.
- What skill would you love to learn? (That you haven’t already) Why?
I wish I could play a musical instrument. I know a number of highly skilled amateur and professional musicians, and I’ve always admired their abilities.
- Who’s your favourite mathematician?
I’d have to say it’s Euclid. When I was in Grade 6, my teacher saw I was bored with the math exercises we were doing and gave me a book on geometric constructions. That was the start of a life-long fascination with math. I even named my cat Euclid but she didn’t live up to the name, as she turned out to be lovable but not very smart.