The Maple Challenge... and how a student won it hands down - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: The Maple Challenge... and how a student won it hands down

The origin of the challenge

Selcuk Arbor* is a Computer Science student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. A serious student, Arbor did well in all courses, except Physics. It was his least favorite subject and the one he often procrastinated in. When he didn’t pass the midterm exam, he realized it was a costly mistake and was determined to try harder. Looking carefully at the questions on the Physics examination, he realized that they were indeed quite simple. With more effort, Arbor realized, he could have done well on the exam.

Arbor knew the professor was an avid evangelist of Maple and its capabilities. “I remember her saying on the very first day of class that Maple is an excellent software package and that our class will use Maple extensively,” recalls Arbor.

Arbor decided to use this knowledge to his advantage. He asked his professor, "What if I turned my entire midterm test into a Maplet™? Would you be willing to replace my mark then?” His professor agreed and the challenge was officially underway.

What is a Maplet?

An example of a Maplet within Maple – visually displaying the given expression, based on user inputs A Maplet is a graphical user interface that provides interactive access to the Maple engine through buttons, toolbars, slider bars, and other visual interfaces. Its point and click interface makes it extremely easy to use. Users can create their own Maplet applications using the same technology used inside Maple for many tutors and assistants.
With Maplets, mathematics and science instructors can create interactive tutorials on virtually any topic, including optimization problems in calculus, the classic curve-fitting techniques of statistics, or the effects of gravity and initial velocity on the path of a baseball. Users only need knowledge of basic Maple programming.

How did the challenge end?

Arbor completed his assignment and earned the promised replacement of his midterm mark. “There were some extremely helpful people over at Maplesoft who gave me tips,” he said. “It became more than a bet and turned out to be an exercise I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved using Maple and successfully finished the assignment.”

Selcuk Arbor is now an avid Maple user and a passionate supporter of the product.