Maplesoft Blogger Profile: Paul DeMarco


Director of Development

Paul DeMarco is the Director of Core Technologies at Maplesoft, a position that has him involved with technical planning and development of Maple and the various technologies that use Maple as a computation engine.

He joined Maplesoft in September 1996 while studying at the University of Waterloo in the CS/EEE program -- a track that combines core math and computer science courses with electrical engineering electives.

Moving from the math to the kernel group in 1997 he still actively writes new code.

Paul's work on the Maple kernel touches a wide variety of areas, including algorithms, data structures, and connectivity with other products. He is also involved with the development process, ensuring the right tools are in place to build, test, and deliver reliable products.

Paul was born in Canada and grew up in the Waterloo area. He is married and has 6 children. He is an avid sports participant, taking charge of the Maplesoft Mathletics softball and hockey teams, and joining in weekly cycling tours with coworkers at lunch. He enjoys wood-working on small projects like carving, and boxes, and large projects like a floor-to-ceiling wall unit with 16 dove-tailed drawers, 8 raised panel cabinet doors, topped witch crown moulding, all cut, planed and sawn from cherry trees felled from the family farm.

Posts by Paul DeMarco



3D Paper Physical Model

Classic Triangle Peg Board GameIn high school I was briefly fascinated by a triangular "jump all but one" game, commonly found at Cracker Barrel restaurants.  The basic premise is that any peg can "jump" over an adjacent peg to occupy the empty hole next to the jumped peg.  The jumped peg is then removed.  The goal is to continue jumping pegs until there is only one left.  

The instructions on the face of the Cracker Barrel version of this game say, "LEAVE ONLY ONE -- YOU'RE A GENIUS".  Wanting to claim the right to call myself a genius, unlike ordinary kids, who might just play the game a few times, I sat down on my Turbo-XT and started writing BASIC code.  The algorithm I came up with ran a bit slow, so I directed output to my printer and let it run over night.  In the morning the program was still chugging along.  I advanced the paper feed on the dot-matrix lineprinter -- the kind that used continuous feed paper with perforated edges and holes on each side.   Into view came 3 solutions represented by a string of numbers.   A quick check verified that I was now a genius.  

The Canadian Press reported last week the fortune of 13 women working on the 13th floor of an Edmonton bank tower winning a $50-million lottery jackpot. Combine this with the recently released version 13 of Maple and one might claim that notorious number 13's luck is changing.

Early in the development of Maple 13 the question of whether to use "13" was raised. From Apollo 13 to hotels with a missing floor, superstition surrounds this number.  Microsoft Office 2010 is slated to be released as version 14.0; the previous version was 12.0. Corel's WordPerfect Office marketed their version 13 as "X3" -- combining a roman numeral and decimal digit.

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