- General Information about Maple TA
- Maple TA Navigation
- Why won't Maple TA let me start a new assignment?
- Is there anyway to go back to a graded assignment?
- Do I have to complete the whole assignment at one time?
- What happens if there is some kind of computer crash or power problem?
- What should I do if accidentally started the wrong assignment?
- I can see the assignment in the list but when I click on it nothing happens.
- Is there a place where I can see the correct answers?
- When I print an assignment some of the questions are not printed.
- Form of Answers
- Does my answer have to be exactly the same as the answer in Maple TA in order to be counted as correct?
- How do I enter π or e ?
- What does Change Entry Style mean?
- Text Mode
- How are mathematical expressions entered in text mode?
- What does
**Preview**do? - When an algebraic expression for an answer is at all complicated, Maple TA keeps telling me my answers are wrong. When I finally get it right, the mistakes were in placing parentheses. What can I do?
- The last suggestion did not help me. Maple TA still keeps telling me my answers are wrong. What else can I do?
- What is operator precedence?
- Why are the textbook and the symbol mode applet using sin
^{-1}(x) and tan^{-1}(x) but in text mode we use arcsin(x) and arctan(x)? - Why is Maple TA not accepting cos(Pi/4) as an answer?
- Symbol Mode
- Trouble
- Every time I try to go to Question n I get a system error.
- What do I do if Maple TA marks my answer wrong, but the answer is correct?
- What should I do if I think I have found a mistake in Maple TA?
- The graph for the question did not show or where there should be an expression or a number there is some nonsense with a dollar sign or many parentheses.
- What is that
**View Parameters**button on the Bug Report form? - I sent an email to my instructor about a problem I was having with the current assignment and she replied that she does not have enough information on my problem to help me. What does she need?
- I am using the Firefox web browser and when I print my assignment some questions are missing.

- General Information about Maple TA
- What is Maple TA?
- Is Maple TA the same as Maple?
- Maple TA Navigation
- Why won't Maple TA let me start a new assignment?
- Is there anyway to go back to a graded assignment?
- Do I have to complete the whole assignment at one time?
- What happens if there is some kind of computer crash or power failure while I am working on my assignment?
- What should I do if accidentally started the wrong assignment?
- I can see the assignment in the list but when I click on it nothing happens.
- Is there a place where I can see the correct answers? Immediately after you grade an assignment there is an opportunity to review your answers and the correct answers. Click on
- When I print an assignment some of the questions are not printed. Some versions of the Firefox browser have this problem. A workaround is to click and drag over the whole assignment. Then print but change the
- Form of Answers
- Does my answer have to be exactly the same as the answer in Maple TA in order to be counted as correct?
- How do I enter π or e ?
- What does Change Entry Style mean?
- Text Mode
- How are mathematical expressions entered in text mode?
- What does
**Preview**do? - When an algebraic expression for an answer is at all complicated, Maple TA keeps telling me my answers are wrong. When I finally get it right, the mistakes were in placing parentheses. What can I do?
- If the character is a left parenthesis increase the counter by 1
*then*assign the counter number to the character. - If the character is a right parenthesis, assign
the counter number to the character
*then*decrease the counter by 1. - If the character is not a parenthesis, do not assign a number.
- Go to the next character to the right and repeat the steps.
- The last suggestion did not help me. Maple TA still keeps telling me my answers are wrong. What else can I do?
- What is operator precedence?
- Why are the textbook and the symbol mode applet
using sin
^{-1}(x) and tan^{-1}(x) but in text mode we use arcsin(x) and arctan(x)? - Why is Maple TA not accepting cos(Pi/4) as an answer?
- Symbol Mode
- Must I select the templates for everything?
- I entered my answer using symbol mode and it looks exactly like the correct answer. Why is Maple marking it wrong?
- Trouble
- Every time I try to go to Question n I get a system error.
- What do I do if Maple TA marks my answer wrong, but the answer is correct?
- What should I do if I think I have found a mistake in Maple TA?
- The graph for the question did not show or where there should be an expression or a number there is some nonsense with a dollar sign or many parentheses.
- What is that
**View Parameters**button on the Bug Report form? - I sent an email to my instructor about a problem I was having with the current assignment and she replied that she does not have enough information on my problem to help me. What does she need?
- Bring a copy of the printout of your assignment to your instructor or email the instructor an electronic version (scanned or captured).
- If your instructor has experience with writing questions for Maple TA
then she can generate your question given the values of the parameters. To
get the parameters bring your question up on Maple TA and click on the
**Bug Report**link. At the bottom of the Bug Report window there is a button labeled**View Parameters**. Click on that button. The information contained in the window that opens will provide the instructor with the needed values. - If the problem does not have any special graphics, you may be able to copy and paste the text of the problem statement into an email message and send it to your instructor.
- I am using the Firefox web browser and when I print my assignment some questions are missing.

Maple TA is a program which can be used to generate questions and grade responses which are numerical, formulas, words, etc. Multiple choice and matching style questions are also possible. The software can be used for many purposes. Currently at Oklahoma State it is being used to give and grade homework for Math 2144, Calculus I and for Math 2153, Calculus II. It was also tested with a section Math 1613, Trigonometry.

No. Maple TA does use part of Maple and is marketed by the makers of Maple. Some questions use Maple for producing portions of the questions and graphs. Maple is also used to grade some questions. Some software produced by other companies is also part of Maple TA.

Maple is a computer algebra system, i.e., a program that can solve equations, compute derivatives, etc., by using methods which are similar to those a person might use. It can also do strictly numerical computation.

You probably have an assignment for a grade that you have not submitted for grading. In Maple TA you are only permitted to have one assignment in progress at a time. This means one assignment for which you had to give your login and password. You can do other non-recorded assignments such as practice assignments while you have n recorded assignment in progress.

You can look at the results of an assignment you have submitted for
grading by clicking on the link **View my results in this class** on the
right side of your class home page. There is no way to return to the
questions so that you may attempt them again unless your instructor has set
the assignment to produce the same set of questions every time. In that
case
you will get a new copy of the assignment with all answer boxes empty.

No. At any time you can click the **Quit and Save** button at the top
of the page. Save your session and logout. The next time you want to work
on the assignment choose the same assignment from the list. When you give
your login and password you wil be allowed to return to the assignment as
you left it. Any answers that you had entered will still be present.

Any work that you have done since the last time you saved will be lost.
You should periodically, e.g., every ten minutes,
click on **Quit and Save** and save your work to make sure that you
do not lose very much work if there is a problem. It is a good idea to save
just before you do the following things: change entry style, report a bug,
use another browser window on another site or use another piece of software
that heavily uses java (Maple is one.). Any of these could cause the
browser to crash.

You should contact your instructor and explain what happened. Usually your instructor will disregard the score from this accidental attempt. If the correct assignment is due soon, you cannot reach your instructor, and your instructor has no announced policy, then you should probably send an email to your instructor, grade the incorrect assignment and start the correct one. When you contact your instructor, explain what happened and ask that the grade on the incorrect assignment be disregraded.

Look at the availibility dates for the assignment. If the current date is not within those limits, the assignment cannot be started. The names of available assignments usually appear in a different color than those that are unavailable.

In general, no. The author of the question must decide how flexible the
grading will be. For a numerical problem this might vary from requiring an
exact answer to allowing a percentage or absolute error. Also the author
may allow arithmetic, i.e., `2^6/3^5`

is correct as well as `64/243`

. For
answers which are formulas or mathematical expressions,
the answers usually need to be mathematically equivalent. This
means that `3*x^2-5*x+2/3`

and `2/3-5*x+3*x^2`

will be graded identically. It also
means that `3*x^2-5*x+0.6667`

will not be graded identically. The answer
`3*(x+1)^2+x-4/3`

may also be accepted.

Because the grading flexibility can vary it is very important
to read the question carefully. Usually if some approximation is
allowed, the question will include some information about this. If
data has to be approximated, e.g., estimating function values from
a graph, an approximation of the answer is also allowed. If the
problem says give the exact value, then decimal or other approximations
are not allowed. Note 0.5 is exactly 1/2 so either is acceptable most of the time,
i.e., the form is not important.
However 1/3 and .666667 are not
exactly the same so that for a question requiring an exact answer
of `1/3`

, `.666667`

would be marked incorrect.
**Important:** If you enter a number as a decimal as part of a
larger expression, the system may convert and grade your answer
using approximate arithmetic. In such cases 3^(1/2) is not treated the same
as 3^.5 despite the fact that the two numbers are equal. **When exact answers are required always use fractions.**

**At OSU the default in the questions for calculus is always to use the exact value of all constants.**

The problems here at OSU require you to enter π as `Pi`

. The base for
natural logarithms is entered as `e`

. Sometimes you may see `exp(1)`

for e
and `exp(x)`

for e^{x} in answers
and in the documentation provided with Maple TA. You should always use `e`

for the constant and `e^x`

for the exponential function with base e in your answers.

Maple TA provides two basic methods for entering mathematical expressions, text mode and symbol mode. Text mode is similar to the method used by many calculators. Symbol mode uses point and click selections of templates for two dimensional display of exponents, fractions, etc., and display of expressions as you type, i.e., WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). See the detailed explanations below.

In text mode mathematical expressions are entered on a single line using
explicit symbols for the operations and parentheses and *operator
precedence* to control the order in which the operations are
performed. Calculators, spreadsheets, and many programming languages use
this or a very similar syntax. Basic operations use familiar symbols,
+ (addition), - (subtraction). * (multiplication), / (division) and ^
(exponentiation). Standard functions can also be entered using their
names and parenthesis around the argument, e.g., the value of the cosine
of the angle π would entered as `cos(pi)`

. Below are some
examples.

Text Mode Entry | Two Dimensional Display | |||
---|---|---|---|---|

3*x^2 | 3 x^{2} | |||

(-2*x+1)/(x^5-1) |
| |||

x*sin(4*x^3)^2 | x sin^{2} 4x^{3} |

When the entry mode is text the **Preview** facility allows you to
see your answer in traditional two dimensional notation. This does not work
for all types of answers but for algebraic expressions like those in the
table above it will work. If there is a problem with what you have typed
the **Preview** facility may provide an error message to help you
pinpoint the problem.

Here is a simple method for catching some parentheses problems that I learned from a computer scientist.

The idea is to assign a number to each parenthesis. Matching parentheses will get the same number. Here are the rules of the algorithm. The algorithm moves from left to right examining each character. It makes use of an auxiliary number which I will call the counter.

Start at the left most character in the expression. Set the counter at 0.

Here is an example:

(3/(((-13/2)+(8))^2)*(x+(13/2))

Character ( 3 / ( ( ( -13 / 2 ) + ( 8 ) ) ^ 2 ) * ( x + ( 13 / 2 ) ) Number 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 3 3 2If the parentheses match, the first and last numbers should be the same and each number which is assigned should occur an even number of times. Above there are one 1, four 2's, four 3's and four 4's. So there is one more left parenthesis than right.

Because matching parentheses have the same assigned number, you can also use this to help find errors in order of operations.

If you are pretty sure that your answer on paper is correct, try to work with small pieces of the answer. You can use Notepad, Wordpad or another editor to hold the pieces while you assemble the answer. (If you happen to have access to Maple, you can use its editor to do something similar.) Here is an example

-2x^{3}+3x^{2} + x
cos^{2}(3x^{4/3}) |

___________________ |

9x^{5}+12x^{3}-1 |

This expression can be decomposed into smaller pieces. First we can
think of this as the quotient of two expressions A and B where

A =
-2x^{3}+3x^{2} + x cos^{2}(3x^{4/3})

and

B
= 9x^{5}+12x^{3}-1 .

If we can correctly enter A in text
mode as text_A and we
can correctly enter B as text_B then we can correctly enter the quotient in
text mode as

(text_A)/(text_B) .

Put **Answer = (text_A)/(text_B)** into your editor on a separate line.
The expression for B is a polynomial so we can determine text_B pretty
quickly as

text_B = 9*x^5+12*x^3-1 .

Now even though this is not
the answer type this into the answer entry box. Next Preview it to make
sure that your text produces the right displayed expression. Once you have
got the text mode entry for B correct enter **text_B = 9*x^5+12*x^3-1**
on a new line in your
editor.

Expression A is more complex so we will break it into a sum of
smaller pieces, AA
and AB where

AA = -2x^{3}+3x^{2}

and

AB = x
cos^{2}(3x^{4/3}) .

Expression AA in text mode is
-2*x^3+3*x^2. Check that this works by enetring it into the answer entry
box and clicking Preview. Once you are satisfied enter

**text_A =
(text_AA) + (text_AB)text_AA = -2*x^3+3*x^2**

into the editor.

The text mode for expression AB is x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2.
Check it by using the Preview facility. (If you feel that this is too
complex you could break AB into smaller expressions such as
**(text_ABA)*(text_ABB)^2** where **text_ABA = x** and **text_ABB =
cos(3*x^(4/3))**. Further decomposition of text_ABB could also be done.)
Enter **text_AB = x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2** on a separate line of your
editor. Your editor should contain something like this:

Answer = (text_A)/(text_B) |

text_B = 9*x^5+12*x^3-1 |

text_A = (text_AA) + (text_AB) |

text_AA = -2*x^3+3*x^2 |

text_AB = x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2 |

Answer = (text_A)/(text_B) |

text_B = 9*x^5+12*x^3-1 |

text_A = (text_AA) + (text_AB) = (-2*x^3+3*x^2) + (x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2) |

text_AA = -2*x^3+3*x^2 |

text_AB = x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2 |

Finally

Answer = (text_A)/(text_B) = ((-2*x^3+3*x^2) + (x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2))/(9*x^5+12*x^3-1) |

text_B = 9*x^5+12*x^3-1 |

text_A = (text_AA) + (text_AB) = (-2*x^3+3*x^2) + (x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2) |

text_AA = -2*x^3+3*x^2 |

text_AB = x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2 |

Now copy and paste **((-2*x^3+3*x^2) +
(x*(cos(3*x^(4/3))^2))/(9*x^5+12*x^3-1)** into the answer entry box and
Preview the answer. If all is well, click *How Did I Do?* and check
the correctness of the answer.

Notice that in the procedure exhibited above we have been careful to include parentheses around each smaller expression and when we reassembled the answer those parentheses were kept. The emphasis here was not on getting the shortest answer but a correct answer. You may find that you need to decompose expressions into more or fewer expressions than what was done above. Do what is comfortable and reliable for you. The Preview facility does not catch missing multiplication symbols. If the answer requires Maple syntax and you frequently forget these *, you may find it helpful to use Maple itself to check the syntax of your answers.

Operator precedence is used to decide the order in which operations are
performed whenever there are no parentheses to indicate the order. In
elementary algebra operator precedence is used to write polynomials without
extra parentheses. For example -2x^{3}+3x^{2} would need
to be written as ((-2)*(x^3))+(3*(x^2)) to make the order of operations
clear without operator precedence. We can omit the parentheses because we
know that powers are to be computed before multiplications or additions and
that multiplications are to be computed before additions. The minus in
front of the 2 (a unary minus) is a further complication. Fortunately the
several obvious possibilities ( (-2)*(x^3) = -(2*(x^3)) = (-1)*(2*(x^3)))
all yield the same result. A complete dscussion of operator precedence is too
lengthy for this FAQ, but see the next question for another one of the
issues.

Mathematical typography evolved from notations used by various authors over the centuries and not by some grand consistent scheme. The result is that there are several notations for some things and some notations which mean different things in different situations. If the situation is not clear the reader (or a computer program) may have to guess what is meant. With some commonly used functions several typographical conventions have evolved that make the situation unclear.

Consider the Pythagorean identity
as it is commonly written.

cos^{2}x + sin^{2}x = 1

To actually compute the left hand side of this identity the operations
would be compute the value of cosine of x and compute the value of sine of
x, square each of those and add the resulting values together, i.e.,
(cos(x))^2 + (sin(x))^2. The raised 2's mean to square the results of
computing the value of the trigonometric function. Similarly
sin^{5} x would mean to compute the fifth power of sin(x).

The above examples seems to indicate that sin^{-1}x should mean
that we should compute sin(x) and then raise the result to the -1 power,
i.e., (sin(x))^{-1} = 1/sin(x). However if f is a one-to-one
function a commonly used notation for the inverse function for f (the
inverse for composition) is f^{-1}. This means that there is
another possible interpretation of sin^{-1}x as the inverse
function of sine applied to x.

This notational conflict is usually resolved by using only positive exponents
when the interpretation is to be *power* and the only negative
superscript permitted is -1. The interpretation in the case of -1
is as the inverse
function. This works fairly well but is the cause of some confusion and errors.
In Maple TA text
mode the issue is avoided entirely because a power n of sin(x) must be
written as (sin(x))^n and the inverse function is named arcsin. In two
dimensional display these unambiguous expressions are replaced by the standard
typographical conventions. As a result in displays such as in symbol mode
you may see sin^{-1}x.

The grading facility does not always replace these trigonometric functions of special values with their algebraic equivalents. You should not be including ln(e) or a trigonometric function of one of the special angles (multiples of π/6 or π/4) in the answers. These should be replaced by the exact values. So try sqrt(2)/2 in place of cos(Pi/4).

No. The java applet for symbol mode will accept some text mode entries. For example you can enter x^2 and the exponent template will automatically open up.

This could be a bug in the grading of the problem, but there is another
possibility. The symbol mode applet makes assumptions about what is being
entered and is not only building the display you see but also something
like a *text mode* entry. What actually is used for grading is that *text
mode* entry. Sometimes because of the assumptions the applet made or because of
confusion introduced during editing, the *text mode* entry
is not what you intended.

It is possible to see the text mode entry by changing the entry style to text mode and revisiting the question. When you return to the question in text mode whatever you entered for the answer in symbol mode will be replaced by the corresponding text mode expression as the applet constructed it. You should carefully inspect the locations of any parentheses. Often what has happened is that the right parenthesis is improperly located. For example you may have wanted -x^2+2*x-3 = -(x^2)+2*x-3 but what you got was -(x^2+2*x-3).

Probably you have used symbol mode to enter an answer to Question
n, but there is an error in the syntax of what you wrote. Notice
that you do not need to quit when you get a system error. Use the
back *triangle* on the system error to return to the assignment.
Go to another question that can use symbol mode. (This can be in a
practice assignment or the same assignment.) Switch to symbol mode.
Now try to go to Question n.

A step-by-step explanation using another assignment.

The situation is not any different than if a human grader made a mistake grading something or there was an error in the answer key that was being used to grade the paper. Gather the evidence of the error, e.g., a print out of your graded assignment (or the page with the error), and bring the problem to the attention of your instructor. Your instructor can change the grade given by Maple TA.

In certain situations you may need to convince your instructor that you entered the correct answer correctly. For example if you used symbol mode to enter the answer there may be some ambiguity about the appearance of the answer. Your instructor will probably respond more positively if you can show him your original print out of the assignment with the steps of the solution of the problem carefully written out.

Most problems include a link to a Bug Report facilty. You should click on the link and carefully fill out the form. Be sure to describe the mistake or bug precisely.

**Note:** *The Bug Report facility is not online help with
the mathematics.* Generally there will be no follow-up to you
about your report. Your report will be sent to someone who is
familiar with the way questions are created and to your instructor.
An attempt will be made to recreate the behavior reported by you
and if it is determined that there is a bug, a fix will be
implemented.

This is indicates that the server had a problem. If only the graph is missing, someone who is knowledgeable about Maple and web pages may be able to produce the graph for you from the commands embedded in the source for the web page. If the server did not produce the expressions or numbers needed for the question, it is likely that your question cannot be salvaged. Tell your instructor what happened.

There is a problem generating randomized coefficients for the question: Comparison of Graphs Error initializing $A: There is a syntax error in the algorithmic expression "maple("randomize():RandomTools[Generate](choose({turquoise,sienna,green,magenta,yellow}));")". The following error message was generated: null |

What is the exact value of the largest solution of (((q)*(u))*(a))*(t)=0, i.e., (((s)*(h))*(o))*(w)? |

See the answer to the next question.

Most questions on your assignments are generated from a family of similar questions by selecting particular values for things like coefficients. This is done by randomly selecting those values at the time you start the assignment. If you tell your instructor that you are having trouble with Question 7 on the assignment for Section 3.4. Your particular version of that question may be one of a thousand possibilities. Maple TA does not permit the instructor to view a student's assignment until it has been graded.

To get help while an assignment is in progress you must provide your instructor with the specifics of the question. Here are a few ways that you can do this:

Try the following workaround. When you are ready to print, use your mouse to select (highlight) the entire document. Now press print but change the setting to "Print Selection" in the popup.