The MapleSim software, although extremely powerful, has been presented in a way that is very easy to use, such that freshmen can design, operate, and build complex models. In my first year teaching the cornerstone course using MapleSim, I witnessed better designs and true engineering insights in the final results of the students’ projects. As a result, MapleSim is now a mandatory component for every engineering freshman at McMaster University.
The Dual Truck Mobile Sizer at FLSmidth is a very large and complex machine. The ability to model all aspects of its operation during the design phase using MapleSim gave us confidence that the product we would ultimately build would function correctly the first time. We cannot even begin to put a value on what this means to us.
MapleSim was an eye-opener for us. It gave us insights that we otherwise would not have had. We discovered behaviors in the system we hadn’t taken into account until we ran MapleSim simulations. We learned a lot about the system using MapleSim
We were amazed at the power of Maple. Its analytical power and modeling capabilities enabled us to get the accuracy we were aiming for. I especially appreciate embedded components and their role in GUI design. Maple’s symbolic math capability exceeds that of other CAE tools in areas where we used it.
In comparison with others, Maple can do in a couple of hours what other software can take days to compute. The natural math notation allows me to enter the equations as if I were writing them by hand. The fact that I can do symbolic calculations allows me to do optimizations that are virtually impossible with other software. What’s more, the results are extremely accurate.
We needed software that is known for its robustness – one that is able to manage large equations and matrix computations, and return symbolic solutions. Most importantly, we needed software that is very intuitive to use. Maple was the perfect software to meet these requirements.
Maple goes out of the way to make the learning curve as short as possible. Compared to other tools, this is Maple’s biggest advantage. Another feature I like in Maple is its ability to combine good-looking mathematics with interactivity. With other tools, you get one or the other; to get them both in one is difficult. But with Maple, I can create sophisticated documents with attractive mathematical expressions that have interactive features. The mathematical expressions show up exactly like in textbooks, and that’s exactly how students should see it.
Using Maple made a huge difference to the students, and helped showcase the kind of radical changes we can bring about. Many students perceive calculus to be ‘too hard’, which can make them reluctant to even try it. And when they do try it, their attitude can actually interfere with their learning. But based on the comments these students made after the course was over, it is clear that Maple helped spark their interest in calculus, and made them justifiably confident in their ability to handle it. Technology can be a great enabler even for students this young.
Maple lets students push boundaries that they couldn’t with other tools. It incorporates all the aspects of their mathematical understanding, from algebra to geometry and calculus. It takes all of their formal understanding from textbooks, and puts it into an algebraic context or a graphical context. Maple really is an environment for students to play mathematically. We realized the potential in Maple to start students earlier - it is simple to learn, but powerful enough to let students grasp the concept.
Powering the courseware with Möbius means we can ask questions online that go so much farther in assessing the concept, compared to traditional methods. With Möbius, we are also able to offer dynamic resources teachers can use that provide students the opportunity to explore concepts independently or with a teacher, practice using diverse question types, and receive instant feedback so they can evaluate learning immediately.
Unlike other online education tools, Möbius supports math content very strongly. It allows me to expand on the math topics we cover, and deliver them in a wider variety of question types. This provided the students with a much more interactive and dynamic experience, making it easier and fun for them to learn new concepts.
We felt the feature set of Maple T.A. was the best on the market. It supported my students in attaining the necessary skill level for year one mathematics. They were able to progress according to their own abilities and spend the appropriate amount of time and effort on concepts that needed more work. This self-tailored approach would not have been possible without Maple T.A.
The flexibility in learning proved to be a huge motivating factor for students. Student satisfaction went up, with feedback indicating that different options for learning and individual support from teachers were highly appreciated. Not only did the data show improvement, but the overall quality of the student experience improved.
With the practice and testing options in Maple T.A., the students’ grades improved. It also brought back the students’ enthusiasm for learning by helping them understand concepts better. The fact that we are able to use technology to avoid copying and cheating in assignments and tests is a big bonus.
Maple T.A. has made a huge difference to us, on many levels. We can offer an appropriate number of assignments to our students without being overwhelmed, and students appreciate the improved feedback on all their assignments. In addition, after moving to Maple T.A., we’ve found that we can save approximately $100,000 per year on our grading budget, which we can use to support activities and programs we couldn’t otherwise offer.
The range and flexibility of the questions were critical for us to most effectively assess the students’ understanding of the material. Maple T.A. gave us assurance that students were completing the courses with the knowledge they needed for upper year courses.