Announcements about MaplePrimes and Maplesoft

It's been a while since I've updated my blog, but the recent Maple 12 release gives me a good opportunity to talk about some of the features I'd been working on for the past months. A few people on MaplePrimes had asked for more details about Maple 12, so I'll start by saying a bit about the new polar axes. A lot of this work was done by my colleagues in the GUI Group and they may have additional interesting things to say about the feature.

In previous versions of Maple, you could draw polar plots using the plots[polarplot] command or with the coords=polar option, but these were always displayed with Cartesian axes. In Maple 12, polar axes are displayed by default, as seen here.

plots[polarplot](1+cos(theta), theta=0..2*Pi, axis[radial]=[tickmarks=5])

plots[polarplot](1+cos(theta), theta=0..2*Pi, axis[radial]=[tickmarks=5])

 A number of new options were added to the polarplot command so that you can customize the axes.  The most useful ones are the axis[radial] and axis[angular] options. These work like the axis[1], axis[2] and axis[3] options available for general plots, and you can use them to control color, tickmarks and other properties of the radial and angular axes.

Typeset math on plots had been introduced in Maple 11, and now we can take advantage of this with nice axis labels, in multiples of Pi, on the angular axis. These labels appear by default, but of course, they can be customized with the axis options. The plot/typesetting help page provides information on how to add typeset math to plots through the command line. There are also interactive ways to do this, using the context menu.

You can add polar axes to plots created by commands other than plots[polarplot], by using the axiscoordinates=polar option. However, not all the options offered by plots[polarplot] are available generally. Here is an example using plots[implicitplot].

plots[implicitplot]([x^2+2*y^2 = 1, x^2+1.5*y^2 = 1], color = ["Blue", "Green"], x = -1 .. 1, y = -1 .. 1, axiscoordinates = polar);

plots[implicitplot]([x^2+2*y^2 = 1, x^2+1.5*y^2 = 1], color = ["Blue", "Green"], x = -1 .. 1, y = -1 .. 1, axiscoordinates = polar)

It is also possible to get the pre-Maple 12 Cartesian axes back with polar plots, by adding the axiscoordinates=cartesian option.

The following is extracted from Jakob Nielsen's weekly newsletter on usability.


While in London for last week's conference, I stopped by the British Museum. Among other exhibits, I saw King George III's collection of antique coins. Because this was part of an exhibition about the growth of knowledge during the Enlightenment period, the collection was shown in the way the King had organized it.

His Roman coins were sorted chronologically, which is the same system the Museum uses to this day. But the Greek coins were sorted alphabetically according to the name of the ruler depicted on the coin. This meant that coins issued at the same time would be in widely varying parts of the collection. It also meant that coins minted in the same city state would be dispersed across the collection. Not surprisingly, the British Museum no longer uses George III's system for its collection (except for this special exhibit).

Information architecture lessons:

  1. Alphabetical order is usually a bad way to structure items.
  2. For a better structure, you need to understand the underlying dimensions of interest (the King didn't know enough about ancient Greece to correctly place the coins in time and space).
  3. New info may cause you to restructure things for better access.
  4. Two or more structuring principles may be better than a single one.

Would you Try it...

Current Trial Serial Number




We are pleased to announce that Maple 12 is now available.  It has some very cool new features - my personal favorites include the addition of polar plots, nifty new dials and gauges, a start-up code region, and the ability to use colour in table cells.  Check out our website to find out what’s new, to watch Maple 12 movies in the new , for full details on upgrade specials and more.


We are pleased to announce that the winner of the monthly Maple Mentors Award for April is Axel Vogt. Axel will receive a prize of his choice to thank him for his involvement with the MaplePrimes community.


We are pleased to announce that the winner of the quarterly Maple Mentor Award for Jan.-Mar. 2008 is Jacques Carette, and the recipient of March's monthly award is Prof. Alejandro Jakubi. Jacques and Alejandro will receive prizes of their choice to thank them for their involvement with the MaplePrimes community. Congratulations to our winners!

The e-mail notification feature that was previously available before the last update to the site has been re-enabled.

Please post any issues with this feature as comments on this blog entry. If you have comments about any other features, please add them to the MaplePrimes Suggestions forum

This workshop is focused on the intersection of programming languages (PL) and mechanized mathematics systems (MMS). The latter category subsumes present-day computer algebra systems (CAS), interactive proof assistants (PA), and automated theorem provers (ATP), all heading towards fully integrated mechanized mathematical assistants that are expected to emerge eventually (cf. the objective of Calculemus).

This is the second PLMMS workshop, with the first workshop held with Calculemus 2007 in Hagenberg, Austria.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the monthly Maple Mentors Award for February is Joe Riel. Joe will receive a prize of his choice to thank him for his involvement with the MaplePrimes community.


I have just completed a new update to the site that allows me to disable the new WYSYWIG editor for specific users. Users cannot make this change themselves at the moment, an administrator must make the change for them.

If you would like the editor disabled, please use the contact form to send me a message.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the first quarterly Maple Mentor Award is Robert Israel.  The recipient of the monthly award for January is John Fredsted. Robert and John will receive a prize of their choice to thank them for their involvement with the MaplePrimes community.

Congratulations and keep up the good work!!

I just posted a new poll. Do you have a DVD drive on your primary computer? Maplesoft is considering changing the media we use to distribute our products, and we would like to know what media most of our customers will be able to use.

A long-time member of mapleprimes, Gerald A. Edgar has recently posted a wonderful paper, "Transseries for beginners" up on the arXiv.  It is elementary[1], but not easy, and written in a very engaging style.  For those interested in the mathematics used in some of the darker corners of Maple, this is a great introduction.

I just uploaded a brand new version of MaplePrimes that brings with it a huge number of improvements that should make the site easier and more powerful to use.

The most obvious change is a new WYSYWIG editor that appears on all posting forms. This will allow you to enter posts in the same way that you would in most word processors. You do not need to worry about proper use of HTML tags. The editor has a number of toolbar buttons that make it easy to perform common tasks.

This editor has two buttons specific to MaplePrimes:

  • The Maple tag button makes it easy to insert 2-D Maple Math, the same way you would have used the <maple> tag before
  • The Upload button uploads a file using the File Manager and automatically inserts a link to the uploaded file into your post.

If you wish to go back to the old HTML style of posting, just click the "Source" button that appears in the toolbar.

We have made several updates to the MaplePrimes Student Forum. First, the theme for the forum and all topics within the forum has been updated. This change will make it easy to distinguish when you are in a different section of the site.

Also, new blocks have been created, seperating the active main forum topics from the student forum topics.

Next, there is a new type of post that you can create, a Maple Software Change Request use this form to send suggestions to Maplesoft about changes that you would like made to our software products. All submissions from this form go directly into our internal Bug tracking database, so they will be seen by developers.

Many users have requested the ability to let the administrators know when they see Spam or other inapproprate content on the site. There is now a new feature that makes this easy. There is a new  "Flag Content" link that appears on all Posts and Comments. If you want the administrators to take note of any posts, please click this link.


There have also been many smaller updates throughout the site. I hope that you are happy with the updates. Please comment on this post if you find any problems or would like any more changes.


Update - Comments have been closed on this post since it has become difficult to follow the many threads of discusson. Please post to the MaplePrimes suggestions forum with any comments that you have on the new site.

Stephanie Rozek chats with Fr. Mike May, from St. Louis University, during the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego. He discusses his work with Maple, and especially how he uses it to teach courses in cryptography. A recording of his lecture “Using Maple worksheets to enable explorations of cryptography with minimal background” follows.

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