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Computing with Maple

Francis Wright

[ Publication | Author | Exercises | Graphics | Corrections | Maple 7 | Supplements ]

Publication details

Publisher: Chapman & Hall / CRC Press -- click to go to web site ISBN/ISSN: 1584882360
No. of Pages: 552 UK Price: £41.99 (March 2013)
No. of Figures: 104 Publication date: 27 Sept 2001

Further details:

Buy it online from:

CRC Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the author

Please see my general web home page for further details. If you have questions or comments about this book then you are welcome to contact me by email. However, please direct more general questions or comments to appropriate mailing lists or newsgroups – see Maplesoft's Other Support Resources web page.

Exercise solutions

Solutions to many of the exercises are available as Maple worksheets in this directory, one worksheet per chapter of the book, except that the code for the BlockMatrices package developed in Chapter 15 is provided as a text file that is intended to be read into the Maple worksheet. The current worksheets were produced using Maple 6 although they should also be usable with Maple 7. Some parts of some worksheets should work with Maple V Release 5 but generally they will not work with earlier versions of Maple without some editing. Missing solutions may be added later.

Graphics examples

The book discusses graphical representations in two and three dimensions, which can also be animated. Maple graphics can be exported in various formats, and animations can be exported as animated GIF files for use on the web. Here are some examples. Further details are given in the book.

Click on the static thumbnail graphic* or the explicit link to see the full-size animation.

Cardioid Animation Thumbnail A point on a circle rolling around another circle traces out a locus called a cardioid.
Koch Snowflake Animation Thumbnail A Koch snowflake fractal can be "grown" by plotting it to successive depths of recursion.
Bouncing Ball Animation Thumbnail By using spheres and spheroids in three dimensions, a ball can be made to appear to bounce off a plane.

Three-dimensional Maple graphics can be "rotated" in space in real time, and this 3D aspect can be preserved by exporting using an appropriate format such as Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML). The book uses a mushroom to illustrate this. Note that to view this graphic you must use a VRML browser, such as a web browser plug-in or helper application, otherwise you will see the markup language as plain text (which may not be very enlightening). One of several VRML browsers available as a web-browser plug-in is Cosmo Player, which is available for several platforms free of charge from Further details are given in the book.


Page 6: The Maple User Group (MUG) – see
This URL is wrong; it should be

Page 171: The code to generate random hermitian and antihermitian matrices actually generates special cases with zeros on the leading diagonal. General random hermitian and antihermitian matrices can be generated by using more appropriate complex random number generators tailored to each case. For details see the Maple 7 worksheet Updates.mws.

Maple 7 updates

Maple 6 and Maple 7 use identical syntax and the worksheet format is almost (see below) completely compatible, i.e. Maple 7 will open a Maple 6 worksheet completely transparently, and vice versa, so no updates to the book are necessary to cover these aspects. However, there are some small semantic differences between Maple 6 and Maple 7, and of course Maple 7 offers new facilities. Here are some preliminary comments. For further details of some of these issues see the Maple 7 worksheet Updates.mws.

Semantic changes in Maple 7

  • Changes:
    • The identifier Factorial is the name of a library function and so cannot be used as the name of a user-defined function, as in the book. Some other identifier, such as FACTORIAL, needs to be used instead.
    • Maple 7 cannot plot a zero-length parametric curve, which affects the example at the end of section 3.3 on page 100; see Updates.mws.
  • Additions: Use of option package in a (package) module makes all the exports read-only, so that the exports behave like constants and cannot be used as variables; see Updates.mws.

Fatal incompatibilities

  • 3D plots in a Maple 7 worksheet cause Maple 6 to crash, at least on Microsoft Windows. (A workaround is to delete all output using Maple 7 and then re-execute the worksheet in Maple 6.)

Supplementary material

Some additional examples are available in the form of the following Maple worksheets that work equally well in Maple 6 or Maple 7 (unless specifically stated to the contrary):

  • 3D plotting: a wine glass and a "tetrahedral fractal"

The Maple 7 worksheet Updates.mws provides further details of corrections and additions.


I used IrfanView to construct the static thumbnail graphics from the animated GIF files output by Maple.

Update history

  • Last major update September 2004.
  • Ported here March 2013.