## COMP203: Lecture 15

## Group preferences

On the index card you were given, please print:
- Your name
- Names of people you'd like to be grouped with
- Most advanced math class (or classes) taken
- Favorite type of math (e.g. discrete, continuous, linear algebra, geometry)

Your final project for this semester will be a mini research project using Maple. You will be working in groups, and evaluating your group members contributions using this rubric.
## Maple

### Introduction to Maple

Maple is a computer program. It was invented in Ontario, Canada in 1980. Its purpose is to use
computers to do mathematical calculations better than calculators can. In Maple:
- You can specify how precise you want your answer.
- You can use readable mathematical notation, not just low resolution characters on a small calculator screen.
- You can get exact answers (fractions, square roots) as well as numerical approximations.
- You can do algebraic calculations (simplify x
^{3}/(2x^{2}) ) as well as numerical ones.
- You can load packages (similar to plugins or addons) for work in abstract algebra, curve fitting, logic,
optimization, and teaching.

We will start by learning some basic abilities of Maple -- how to use it to do precalculus problems --
then learn to write programs in Maple. You will finish by using Maple to work on a challenging mathematical problem.
#### Finding Maple

Obviously, Maple is installed on the computers in this classroom.
Maple is also installed on other computers on campus. Try those on the first floor of Conant and Moakley and in the basement of the Library; let me know if you don't find Maple.

#### Buying Maple

You will be asked to work with Maple documents for homework. By purchasing a Student
Copy of Maple at a discount (be sure to use our course's code number to get your discount!) you may save yourself the frustration of being unable to find a public computer on campus with which to do your work.

#### Maple and classwork

COMP203 is currently working toward a more "engaged" pedagogy. During some classes you need only sit and read worksheets, asking questions as they arise and working on your homework when you have finished.
Over the next few years, more and more class periods will be dedicated to group projects. You may be asked to write Maple code to implement Newton's Method or search for Abundant numbers. For these tasks you will work in groups during class applying what you have learned from your study of the Maple worksheets. Your group will submit one Maple worksheet for grading, and you will share the resulting grade.

At the end of the semester your group will make a presentation on some topic using Maple. At that time, you will also have an opportunity to rate the contributions of your group members. Your ratings will be factored into their class participation grade.

Please feel free to comment in person, anonymously or by email about your experiences with the projects and the group work. What happens this semester will shape the course for years to come, and I'd appreciate your guidance in making this the best course possible.

#### Using Maple

Open the "Getting Started With Maple" document posted to Moodle. From the File menu, choose "Save as" and save the file to your W: drive or your computer's desktop. CHOOSING "SAVE" MAY NOT SAVE YOUR FILE.
If you have trouble opening the worksheet, right click on it and choose "Save Link As". Make sure the final characters in the file name are .mw (not .xml) and save the worksheet to your W: drive. Then use the Start menu to go to the Computer window and open the W: drive to open the file.

Read and work through the worksheet, then proceed to the Maple Basics 1 worksheet.