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The Structure of Maple

Maple is an example of a computer algebra system (CAS). It is composed of thousands of commands, to execute operations in algebra, calculus, differential equations, discrete mathematics, geometry, linear algebra, numerical analysis, linear programming, statistics, and graphing. It has been logically designed to minimize storage allocation, while remaining user friendly. Maple allows a user to solve and evaluate complicated equations and calculations, analytically or numerically, such as optimization problems, least square solutions to equations, and solving equations that involve special functions.

Maple 2020 Opening Screen

FIGURE 1.1: Maple 2020 Opening Screen

The “New to Maple?” section in the opening screen will lead to videos, tutorials, and links to more information as seen in Figure 1.2.

“New to Maple” Section of Maple 2019 Expanded

FIGURE 1.2: “New to Maple” Section of Maple 2019 Expanded


To begin using Maple from the opening screen, we suggest clicking on the “New Worksheet” button shown in Figure 1.1. Enter commands at Maple’s command prompt: >. See Figure 1.3. A Worksheet shows command prompts, while a Document does not.

Maple’s Command Prompt

FIGURE 1.3: Maple’s Command Prompt

Notation and Conventions

Throughout this book, different types of fonts and styles are used to distinguish between Maple commands, Maple output, and other information. Maple commands are copied directly from Maple 2019 and the output will immediately follow the Maple commands. In the first example below, the variable a has been assigned an expression as its value. Notice that the symbol := is used to indicate this assignment. In the second line of the example, the value of a, the expression, is differentiated with respect to x.

Type the command in either the Worksheet or the Document mode as

(The | —» | indicates pressing the “right arrow” cursor key to exit superscript mode.) You will type the statement this way, but the screen version appears as follows:

The screen version shows Maple’s mathematical interpretation of what you have typed.

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