Maple 9 – the CAD-Reviews independent review

Friendly power for maths

Maple 9 from Adept Scientific

Maple seems to appeal to a broader range of people than any other maths software.

For mathematicians it’s the unmatched strength of Maple algorithms, and for teachers it’s Maple’s built-in functions for education.

There’s the open source code, the free course materials and add-on packages, the easy-to-learn programming language, the built-in code generation tools, and the open partnerships between Maplesoft and mathematics research institutes.

But above all, what we all love about Maple is its friendly, more accessible nature.

Maple 9 adds a lot more features to this powerhouse product, but thanks to its easygoing nature, we’ve found it easy to get working with them straight away.

At one end of the user spectrum, student packages for Linear Algebra, Calculus, and Precalculus will enhance Maple’s appeal to teachers (and students!).

And at the other extreme, for fundamental mathematics computation, there are new features such as GMP integer arithmetic, scientific error analysis, and better FFT algorithms.

Maple has always been able to translate to many languages, such as Java, Fortran, and C, and now with Maple 9 there’s code generation for MATLAB and Visual Basic too.

If you program in another language, new tools in Maple 9 can even help you design your own code generator for it.

You can also now make direct calls to Maple’s mathematical engine from external programs with an API called OpenMaple.

For example, database programs written in C can invoke Maple 9 data analysis routines through OpenMaple.

The partnership between Maplesoft and the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) has brought more “industrial-speed” numeric algorithms into Maple 9.

FFTs, sparse linear systems and non-linear equation solving are some of the areas in which there’s even better performance in the new version.

Maple 9 has integrated the GNU Multi Precision Arithmetic Library (GMP), one of the world’s most powerful libraries for high precision arithmetic.

Cryptographers and many researchers in algebra use GMP for computations that require millions of bits of accuracy.

And a new DiscreteTransforms package helps you analyse signals, images, and more with industrial-speed FFT routines.

These new routines are an order of magnitude faster than the FFT tools in previous releases.

But none of this is at the expense of usability.

Maple 9 has an even friendlier and more powerful user interface, as well as a refurbished help interface.

This provides one convenient navigation window for keyword searching, topic searching, and browsing by category.

It also retains your search history – even across Maple sessions – so you can jump quickly between your favourite help pages.

The Maple 9 worksheet itself is also a friendlier place to work, with better menu structure, easier section management, more flexible formatting, and other small but appreciable improvements.

It looks better too.

Maple 9 has integrated OpenViz from Advanced Visual Systems (AVS), a leading technology for rendering interactive graphics.

Through OpenViz, you can make 3D graphics translucent, providing a more complete and aesthetic view of 3D objects.

(with thanks to Samir Khan of Adept Scientific)