Maple handout

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Maple is unbelievably useful when it comes to quickly checking your answers, particularly for assessed work. It's good for showing up silly errors that you might otherwise miss. In MATH 113 I used it most often for checking whether the answer I'd come up with was really just another form of the answer I was expecting [I'd enter my result, subtract the expected result, simplify it and pray that it would come out at zero].

Maple is available on all the SMSCS computers - I'll just assume you know nothing about them cos it saves time, no reflection on you! The Macs in CO 250 have it on their menu thing at the bottom of the screen [no doubt it has some funky name, but I'm not a Mac user by nature]. The icon looks, unsurprisingly, like a red maple leaf. To run it on any of the Unix boxes, open a command prompt by clicking on the black-box icon at the bottom of the screen, typing xmaple and hitting enter. Maple itself has a very useful and extensive help file, and there's a good bit of help online too.

If you have PuTTY or a similar SSH client at home/work, you can SSH in to barretts.mcs.vuw.ac.nz and run text-based Maple from a command line ['maple' instead of 'xmaple'], but it's horribly slow and simplistic.

Obviously all that assumes you've already registered your SMSCS account - if you haven't done, you'll probably need to talk to Philip or the school office, because I think they deactivated all the unregistered accounts on the 10th. I'd recommend you do get your account registered asap. Quite apart from the multitudinous other benefits of having access to SMSCS resources [free browsing of NZ websites!], doing calculus without Maple is like inserting needles slowly under one's fingernails, especially when you find you've made a mistake ten lines back and can't figure out what it was.

If you need any more help, feel free to drop me an email!