Tim Vrablik

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13 Badges

17 years, 88 days

I work in Maplesoft’s Applications group. This group is a hub between Sales/Marketing and R&D. I primarily work with customers to help them use our software for their projects.

Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, I spent a substantial chunk of my life there. I attended the University of Windsor to study Engineering and Math, and moved to Waterloo to start working with Maplesoft.

My first introduction to Maple was in a differential equations class. Our professor swore by it every day, and felt obliged to show us examples on how to use it at the end of every class. Admittedly, I usually skipped out of class right around that point. It wasn’t until I sat down and used the software to do my homework that I truly realized how useful Maple was…I only wish I had heeded my professor’s advice in the first month of the semester instead of the last.

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These are Posts that have been published by Tim Vrablik

One of the most common foods prepared at this time of the year, and arguably the most common kitchen disaster, is turkey. 

There are several employees here at Maplesoft (myself included) who are full-fledged foodies:  not only do we enjoy eating good food, but we enjoy preparing it with all our cool kitchen gadgets.  Just as mathies may compare calculators, we compare chef’s knives.  So being a foodie and a mathie, I was quite intrigued when a co-worker sent me an article that found the optimal cooking temperature for a turkey.

For those of you who have had to take on the task of preparing a turkey, you’re probably familiar with this basic rule of thumb (thousands of burnt turkeys must have contributed to this rule): preheat the oven to 400°F, and then cook it for 20 min/lb at 350 °F.  Essentially what this rule means is that the time required to cook a turkey is directly proportional to the mass of the turkey.  We know that this cannot be true because some people who adhere to this rule will have a turkey that is moist and tender, and others will have a turkey that is dry and tough.  If we take more variables into account, like the size of the turkey (l), oven temperature (T), average density (ρ) and thermal conductivity (κ) we can create a function with respect to time . We can now do a bit of dimensional analysis on this to evaluate the accuracy of the traditional rule of thumb.  By using dimensional analysis, we can formulate a relation between a set of known variables, even though we are not sure of the relationship between these variables. The immediate advantage of this procedure is that less experimentation is required to establish a relationship between the variables, allowing us to take given data and see how it will fit with the equations that are created in the analysis.  I won’t go into full detail here, but I’ve created a Maple worksheet that shows the calculations used in the analysis.  The important part comes from the graphs that are generated:

The black dots represent various cooking times of various sizes of birds.  The red line is the old rule of thumb, which you can clearly see is not very reliable.  The green line represents the new rule of thumb which falls in line much better.  So, what is the magical formula that you should use?  Based on the analysis:  where x is in lbs and the resulting time is in minutes.  Now I will be honest, I haven’t put this to the test yet, but I’ll be sure to try it out this Christmas.

The Maple 13.01 update is now available.  It includes:

  • 3D visualization: Increased speed and memory efficiency
  • Language packs: Improved French translations and expanded support for Greek
  • JRE Update: Updated JRE corrects many Java-related issues, and results in improvements in printing on Linux, printing international characters, redrawing components, and plotting
  • Other enhancements: Areas of improvement include the performance of plots with a large number of data points, curve colors used in drag-and-drop plotting, the display of mathematics in embedded components, and PDF export.

 As usual, single-user customers will automatically be prompted to update to Maple 13.01 though Maple's automatic "check for updates" mechanism, while network users will be notified by email and directed to the download site. An update CD will be available soon for customers who cannot get the update electronically. More information can be found on the Maple 13.01 download page.

It wasn’t that long ago that people were thinking that personal rocket jetpacks would be a reasonable means of transportation.  Unfortunately, we’re still a bit of a ways off on that dream.  That being said, we can still do a lot of cool things with rockets.

Rockets find their origins in ancient China.  The availability of black powder to propel projectiles was a precursor to the development of the first solid rocket.  The discovery of black powder by Ninth Century Chinese alchemists led to experiments in the form of weapons such as rocket-propelled fire arrows.

So I'm a bit behind on announcing this...but better late than never.  The recipient of the Maple Mentor Award for the first quarter is gulliet.

I apologize for my tardiness, but I will announce the next recipient on time next quarter.


We are conducting a survey about Maple's user interface, and we want to hear from you.  There are 25 questions and it should take no more then 10-15 minutes to complete.  As a thank you for taking the survey, 5 lucky participants will be chosen at random and will receive a Maplesoft shirt (to be eligible for the shirt, you must fill in the optional contact information).

You can find the survey here.

Thanks in advance!

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