I had the pleasure of visiting Oxford while on vacation in England. I regret that I did not get a chance to visit the NAG headquarters there, but that thought gave me the idea for this next blog entry.
The Optimization package for local optimization uses as its underlying engine the NAG E04 optimization suite. It is possible to use the Optimization package without knowing the internal workings of the commands. However, for those of you who are interested in such details, it is possible to get more information.
If you set infolevel[Optimization] to 2 or higher, the names of the NAG routines (e.g. E04UCA) are displayed. It is useful to set the infolevel value in any case, as the messages provide valuable information about how the computation is proceeding.

On Monday, Aug. 13, I will be at a big

optimization conference at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It's the joint International Conference on Continuous Optimization (ICCOPT) and Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications (MOPTA) conference.
I'll be running a

session with three Maple-related talks given by Jan Bakus of Maplesoft, Andrew Curtis of the University of Western Ontario, and myself.
If any of you are attending the conference (and I

Here's a question I was asked very recently: "When creating a plot, is it possible to specify the points at which the input expression should be evaluated?" The answer is "yes" for 2-D plots, and this is done with the 'sample' option.
Use the command plot(f(x), x=a..b, sample=[x1, x2, ..., xn]) to have f(x) evaluated at points x1, x2, ..., xn. Note this produces a plot that *includes* points with x-values x1, x2, ..., xn. To produce a plot that contains *only* these points, you need to add the adaptive=false option as well.

Waterloo Region, where our head office is located, has been called "The Quilt Capital of Canada". So a couple of years ago, I'd created a worksheet to generate a traditional "Log Cabin" quilt. I've made some minor updates to the example and added a "Trip Around the World Quilt". Having made a few quilts by hand myself, I can definitely say that it's easier to create a Maple one!

Here's a tip for people new to Maple or to 2-D input: always use a space for implied multiplication. 2-D math input in Maple allows for implicit multiplication, which is writing a multiplication operation without an explicit multiplication operator. An example is *x y*.
The space is not always required in cases where there is no ambiguity. However, it is highly recommended that you include it. An example that catches many new users (and some experienced ones as well) is *s(t+u)*. This does not mean *s* times *t+u*, but the function *s* applied to *t+u*