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

+, - Addition, subtraction. 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 number, 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.
• 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.

#### 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.