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## I've been dissed by MAPLE!

Maple
p >Hello. I'm still kind of new to the practice of using a computer program to manipulate equations. I knew that one way to define an ellipse is as the locus of points P such that for 2 fixed points F1 and F2 the sum PF1 + PF2 is constant. I also know that in Cartesian coordinates, we get a formula of the form Ax2 + By2 = 1. If we set up our coordinate system such that F1 and F2 are on the x axis each a distance c from the origin and the maximum width of the ellipse is 2a, let's try to figure out A and B using MAPLE.

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At last I get the result I am after. MAPLE prevented me from making an algebra error, which for me is no small thing. I should add that MAPLE did a nice job of simplifying the coeffs. But I had to think of most of the manipulations myself. Is there any way MAPLE could have done more, or am I expecting too much from a symbolic math program?

Look at what happens when I try to get MAPLE to give me the coeff's in one fell swoop...:

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MAPLE didn't even dignify this request with a response. No error message, nothing. Just icy silence. I feel the sting of her contempt. I've been dissed!!!

So maybe I did have to go through all that rigamarole. This is not intended as a putdown of MAPLE. I'm just wondering if any of the power users out there could take time to critique my method.

Thanks.

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(When I preview this I don't see the equations, only boxes which say "MAPLE equation". When I click on them nothing happens. I don't know if this will be the case when i finally submit the post, but if it is the case then I will respectcully request that some kind soul who has to time would actually look at my file)

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