Maple the ideal vehicle for algebra students at Bath University - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: Maple the ideal vehicle for algebra students at Bath University

Maplesoft’s mathematics software, Maple, is being used at Bath University to provide a framework for the teaching of complex mathematics problem solving and for students to complete course work and assessment.

Maple allows the exploration and visualization of mathematical problems whilst enabling students to gain an insight into the theory and problem solving technique.  At Bath University the package is used in algebraic mathematics courses, with students using the system to complete most of the coursework.

“In our course, Maple is used as the vehicle in which students do their coursework and provide examination answers,” says Professor James Davenport, of the computer science department at the University of Bath. Maple is used on four challenging problems, representing 25 per cent of coursework marks (versus 75 per cent of examination marks).

Maple has become an important tool in the teaching of not only problem solution but also the evaluation of the way algebra works. “For mathematicians it is not necessarily the problem but how to express the answer that requires application,” concedes Professor Davenport. “The teaching of these concepts is made so much easier by Maple and encourages students to look beyond the basic problems.”

The use of Maple encourages students to learn and progress in key areas, according to Professor Davenport.  These include linear fractions, computing common divisors and complex Groebner FGLM algorithms.

Professor Davenport has been impressed by the level and timeliness of support for the software, as Maplesoft keeps him informed of new developments and upgrades so that implementations can be timed for new terms. Commenting on the choice of Maple, he says: “The package is excellent for helping students to achieve their potential and is convenient for lecturers; the site license works well for us and the 'help' system is very good; what is more there are a good number of books covering the software.”