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Pick of the Week: Maplesoft Releases Maple 16

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Maplesoft

Maplesoft says the version 16 of its Maple technical computing software has more than 4,500 enhancements. Image courtesy of Maplesoft.

Maplesoft (Waterloo, ONT) recently announced version 16 of Maple, its flagship technical computing system for mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and academia. Calling this a major release, Maplesoft says that Maple 16 has been extended with more than 4,500 additions and improvements across the entire product, including areas such as mathematical algorithms, visualization, programming language, engineering tools, documentation, education features, and authoring tools.

Maple 16 sees the debut of new tools and techniques in its Clickable Math collection that set “new standards for ease of use in mathematical software and ]provide] new, innovative ways to explore mathematics.” Clickable Math tools, according to the company, provide a point-and-click interface for solving, visualizing, and exploring mathematical problems. With Maple 16 two new capabilities, Drag-to-Solve and Smart Popups, join other Clickable Math tools such as palettes, interactive assistants, context-sensitive menus, and tutors.

Maplesoft

The 3D plot functionality of Maple 16 offers updates that include increased surface smoothness and enhancements in lighting, surface glossiness, surface gridlines, wireframe, and color palettes. Image courtesy of Maplesoft.

With Drag-to-Solve, users are said to be able to solve equations step-by-step by dragging individual terms to where they want them to be. Maple applies the mathematical operation — e.g., addition or multiplication — to both sides of the equation, helping to avoid mechanical errors. Complete records of the steps taken by Maple can be maintained to document work.

Smart Popups are described as enabling users to explore an expression by providing the ability to select and apply operations to a single part of an equation or mathematical expression, leaving the rest unchanged. Users can then preview the result of the selected operation before moving ahead with their task. Smart Popups show mathematical identities, plots, factorizations, and other information for the highlighted expression. This, the company says, helps the user choose the next operation to perform.

Maplesoft

Maple 16’s differential equation solving has been extended to computing closed-form solutions to differential equations, adding in even more classes of problems that can be handled. Image courtesy of Maplesoft.

“The new Clickable Math tools in Maple 16 represent a significant leap forward in the evolution of Maple,” says Dr. Laurent Bernardin, executive vice president and chief scientist at Maplesoft in a press statement. “This release sets a new standard in math software usability, offering users everything from incredibly intuitive point-and-click tools to a highly-sophisticated programming language, so they can effectively take advantage of over 5,000 mathematical functions in Maple 16.”

Maple 16 also integrates new solving methods for 1st, 2nd, and higher-order nonlinear ODEs (ordinary differential equations). The new methods reportedly can solve additional 1st order Abel and other families of equations, and a number of 2nd and higher order families of equations not admitting point symmetries. For both ODEs and PDEs (partial differential equations), Maplesoft says that it has extended all symmetry algorithms to handle problems involving anti-commutative variables automatically. This is said to make all differential equation functionality available for problems that involve non-commutative variables that occur frequently, such as in physics.

Maplesoft

A new intelligent algorithm for 2D plots in Maple 16 automatically focus on the region of the plot that is most meaningful. Image courtesy of Maplesoft.

Visualizations have been upgraded to now include a Smart Plot view that automatically focuses on points of interest. Among the 2D plot updates are changes to color palettes, line thickness, and the transparency of filled regions, while updates to 3D plots include increased surface smoothness and enhancements in lighting, surface glossiness, surface gridlines, wireframe, and color palettes.

New Live Data Plots in Maple 16 are designed to help with insight, understanding, and publication of data, all at the click of a button, according to Maplesoft. With the new Live Data Plots functionality, users are said to be able to quickly generate and modify area, bar, line, and pie charts; box, bubble, scatter plots; and histograms. Data, colors, perspective, gridlines, and other options can be changed interactively, and results display instantly.

Maplesoft

New Live Data Plots in Maple 16 are said to help with insight, understanding, and publication of your data. Image courtesy of Maplesoft.

Maplesoft says Maple 16 provides “tremendous performance gains for many algorithms … including core polynomial operations, numeric differential equation solving, linear algebra computations, and more.” Specific improvements highlighted by the company have been made in such areas as grid computing, memory management, numeric linear algebra, polynomial arithmetic, and polynomial factorization.

Maple 16 runs on Macintosh, Oracle Solaris, and 32-/64-bit Linux and Windows platforms. A single-user, standalone copy of Maple 16 Professional is $2,275. Upgrade, multiuser licensing, government, and academic pricing are available. For more information on Maple 16, visit Maplesoft.

Click here for full details, including a video, on Clickable Math.

Learn more about the enhancements to Maple 16’s visualization capabilities. Includes a video.

See a summary of the key new features in Maple 16.

Benchmarks and other details on Maple 16’s computational efficiency improvements.

Access the complete Maple video and webinar library.

See why DE‘s editors selected Maple 16 as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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