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Maplesoft encourages young mathematicians

Maplesoft has announced that it is to be the technology sponsor of the contest Who Wants to be a Mathematician, organised for US high-school students by the American Mathematical Society. As part of its efforts to encourage interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in North America generally, the company is also sponsoring the Julia Robinson Math and Computing Festival to encourage middle school girls in their pursuit of mathematics; the ScienceExpo Conference, a student-run event that engages students with STEM-related opportunities and workshops; and the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge, a nation-wide high school mathematics competition in Canada.

As in previous years, Maplesoft will also be supporting the SEE-Math program for middle school students by donating its mathematical software, Maple. SEE Math is a summer enrichment workshop organized by Philip Yasskin of Texas A&M University, and attended by gifted middle school students. A popular activity in the course is computer animation, where students use Maple’s visualisation tools and programming language to create their own animated movies.

A complimentary copy of Maple will also go to participants in the annual International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP). This is a two-week camp that brings together 40 exceptional physics-minded students from high schools across the globe to Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Participants gather at the research institute to learn about latest advancements in theoretical physics and get to experience physics research up close.

‘Engaging students with new ways of exploring STEM subjects is at the heart of what we do here at Maplesoft,’ said Jim Dell, Vice President, Marketing, Maplesoft. ‘The programmes that Maplesoft sponsors foster creative learning and encourage interest and excellence in STEM subjects. We are pleased to be a part of this process.’

Each year, more than 2,000 young people from 200 schools throughout the United States enter the Who Wants to be a Mathematician competition. The contest recently moved from paper based testing to digital testing when Maplesoft provided access to Maple T.A. so the tests could be taken online. The use of Maplesoft’s testing and assessment tool saved organisers significant time and money, and also provided the opportunity for more students to get involved. Participation numbers doubled the year Maple T.A. was first implemented.

‘With the technological advancements around us, it only seemed natural that we move our contest online,’ said Michael Breen, host of the competition. ‘We are grateful to Maplesoft for helping us make the move to online testing, thereby allowing us to involve more students and, for many of them, reigniting their love of math.’

At the same time as it was announcing its educational sponsorship, Maplesoft released the MapleSim CAD Toolbox, which allows CAD models to be easily imported into MapleSim. With this toolbox, engineers can examine how their mechanical designs work as part of a complete system, resulting in problems being detected and corrected at the virtual prototyping stage.

The MapleSim CAD Toolbox offers feature detection, allowing users to easily add new coordinates at points of interest, such as the centre of a hole or along the edge of a component, and it makes it easy to share coordinate frames between separate bodies, ensuring the bodies will be properly aligned when joined. It handles files from virtually any CAD system, through direct support for proprietary formats such as those from Inventor, NX, and Solidworks, as well as the widely supported STEP and STL files formats. Once in MapleSim, the models can be shared with other MapleSim users, or online using the MapleSim Server, without requiring that the end user have access to the original CAD system or CAD files.

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