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## Maple Syntax and Built-in Data Capabilities

### Syntax

As with any computer language, Maple has its own syntax.  As a new user of Maple, you can save yourself a lot of head-scratching if you get to know these symbols.

Enter the commands given or make up similar problems.

Symbol Description Examples Sample Output
; End-of-line.  Tells Maple to process the line and show the output.
hello;
hello
: End-of-line.  Tells Maple to process the line and hide the output.
hello:

:= Assignment.  Lets you assign values to variables.
a := 3;
a;
a := 3
3
1 + 3;
1 - 3;
4
-2
*, / Multiplication, division
3*412;
1236/3;
7/3;
1236
412
7/3
^, sqrt Power, square root
2^3;
sqrt(2);
2^(1/2);
8

evalf, . Floating-point (decimal) evaluation
evalf(7/3);
7.0/3;
2.333333333
2.333333333
I,Pi Imaginary unit, Pi.
2 + 3*I;
(2*I)^2;
evalf(Pi);
2+3I
-4
3.141592654
%, %% Recall the last output, recall the second-to-last output, etc.
%;
%%%;
3.141592654
-4

Some syntactical caveats:

• Maple is case sensitive.  foo, Foo, and FOO are three different things.
• Maple requries you to show multiplication with the * character. Entering x*y gives the product of x and y, but entering xy gives one variable with the name xy.
• To get the constant e use exp(1).
• Using the % operator can give confusing results.  It always returns the last output from the Kernel, which may have nothing to do with where the cursor is (or which worksheet is active).
• If Maple doesn't recognize something, it will assume it is a variable. For example, typing i^2 will give you i2, while you may have wanted -1.
• You can move your cursor up to a previous line, press Enter, and the line will re-execute.
• When copying and pasting using a mouse, by sure to also highlight the execution group symbol ([).  If you don't, the lines will be pasted in reverse order due to a bug.
• Spaces are optional.
• Greek letters may be entered by spelling their name.  For example, alpha is always displayed as , and Gamma is displayed as  (note upper-case).

### Built-in Data Capabilities

Maple can handle arbitrary-precision floating point numbers.  In other words, Maple can store as many digits for a number as you like, up to the physical limits of your computer's memory.  To control this, use the Digits variable.

sqrt(2.0);
1.414213562
Digits := 20:
sqrt(2.0);
1.4142135623730950488

Maple sets Digits to be 10 by default. You can also temporarily get precision results by calling evalf with a second argument.

evalf(sqrt(2), 15);
1.41421356237310

Large integers are handled automatically.