6.2 Basic Math Syntax in the System - Maple T.A. 2016 Help
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6.2 Basic Math Syntax in the System

Writing Mathematical Expressions

The basic syntax for entering mathematical formulas or expressions in the system enables you to quickly enter expressions using symbolic math. You can type formulas using standard mathematical notation (similar to that used for 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 example, specify 2*x*y or 2*$A.

For a Maple question, you must always include an asterisk (*).


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


is different from:


which the system interprets as:

Alternatively, you can use MathML expressions, which are supported for both display and content within the system.

Variable Names

You can use any letter for a variable name.

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


then the response

T^2 + 2T +1 

is graded wrong, but

t^2 + 2t +1 

is correct.

Note: Be certain that the case of letters like x and X or v and V in answers match the 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 represents a single variable name.
  • For Maple-graded 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-graded 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-graded questions, use Pi. In the Equation Editor (MathML Editor), select Pi from the palette.
  • 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.) In Text entry mode the square root function is sqrt(x). (Alternatively, you can enter x^(1/2) or x^0.5.) In the MathML Editor, select the square root symbol from the palette.
  • The inverse trigonometric functions, use the standard abbreviated names (arcsin(x), arccos(x), and arctan(x)).

Note: The variable e should not be assigned as a global variable in Maple code. It can be used, however, as a local variable.

See Also:

Editing with the Equation Editor

Mathematical Functions & Operations

Maple-graded Question Type - Overview