4.3 Basic Math Syntax in the System - Maple T.A. 10 Help

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4.3 Basic Math Syntax in the System

When entering expressions in Text Mode or Symbol Mode with the Equation Editor, keep in mind the following:

Writing Mathematical Expressions

The basic syntax for entering mathematical formulas or expressions in the system (text mode) enables you to quickly enter expressions. You can enter formulas using standard mathematical notation (similar to that used in a graphing calculator) and, in general, the system correctly interprets it.

For example, the following formula is acceptable.

(x^2-2x+1) 2sin(x)(x^2+1)e^(-x^2) 

Note: If a product includes one or more variables, always use an asterisk "*" for multiplication. For example, specify 2*x*y.

For a Maple question, you must always include an asterisk (*) for multiplication. For example:


The most common mistake is to forget parentheses "()". For example, the expression:


is different from


which the system interprets as:

Alternatively, you can use the Equation Editor to enter expressions. For an introduction to this editor, see About Symbol Mode.

Place the argument of a function in parentheses. For example, enter sqrt(3x) not sqrt 3x,which is interpreted as (sqrt(3))*x.

Variable Names

Make sure that the variables you use in responses are exactly the same as the variables displayed in the question.

Note: The grading system is case sensitive with respect to variable names. If the correct answer is:


then the response

T^2 + 2T +1 

is graded wrong, but

t^2 + 2t +1 

is correct.

Beware of case inconsistencies, like x and X or v and V. Make sure that your variables match the upper or lower case of the variables in questions.

Operator and Function Syntax

For multiplication, use an asterisk "*". Alternatively, simply write:

  • Two letters with a space (for example, x y)
  • A letter and a number with or without a space (for example, 2x or 2 x). Note that two letters without a space, represent a single variable name.
  • For Maple Syntax questions, you must include an asterisk (*), for example 2*x and not 2x, x*y and not xy, or x*y and not x y, which will be marked as incorrect.


  • Exponentiation, use the caret "^".
  • Euler's Constant, 2.718..., use the letter e. (The exponential function is e^x.) For Maple Syntax questions, use the exp function: exp(1) and exp(x) for e and e^x.
  • Scientific notation, use the upper case letter E. (For example, 0.078 is 7.8E-2.)
  • The trigonometric constant, 3.141..., use pi. For Maple Syntax questions, use Pi.
  • Common mathematical functions, use the standard abbreviated names (for example, sin, cos, and tan).
  • The arguments of trigonometric functions, remember they are measured in radians.
  • The square root function, use sqrt(x). (Alternatively, use x^(1/2) or x^0.5.)
  • The inverse trigonometric functions, use the standard abbreviated names (arcsin(x), arccos(x), and arctan(x)).

For more information, see the Mathematical Functions and Operations table. For a complete list of Maple functions and expressions, refer to Maple documentation.

Maple Semicolon Usage

As a general rule, do not use a trailing semicolon in a response with a Maple command, unless otherwise instructed in an assignment.