Using Maple for a homework problem

One of the questions on our latest Climate Dynamics homework asked us to solve a simple linear ordinary differential equation.  I did it by hand initially, but was happy to get the same answer out of Maple.  The equation described the time dependent global energy balance in terms of heat capacity C, Temperature T, Forcing F, time t, and a climate sensitivity parameter lambda, that is calculated using the reference climate sensitivity and a feedback factor.

C T’+Tλ=F

All I had to do was type this equation into the Maple workspace, then right-click for a context menu. From the context menu, I chose to specify initial conditions (in our case Temperature at time=0 is 0). This generated a second representation of the equation, this time followed by the IC. Next, I just right clicked on the second equation, chose “solve DE”, and hey presto, there is was.

Next, I want to figure out how to define variables and plot it. I don’t think it will be too hard, but I have class soon…

Trying out Maple

One of the perks of being a poor student, is that I get sweet deals on lots of software. And occasionally I even get things for free! For example, Sophos anti-virus software and Microsoft Office. The other day I was struggling with a differential equation for a homework assignment, and after searching around, I found that I could get Maple for free through the University. (Mathematica was only free for faculty). As it turns out, it was quicker for me to sort out the differential equation the old fashioned way (pencil + brain + notes from old math class) than to learn how to do it with Maple. But it still seems like it might be pretty fun to explore – check out this fractal generated using the Mandelbrot set:

Unfortunately it has nothing to do with anything I’m doing in school.  But it’s pretty neat!  And pretty easy – this one’s straight from an example file –

Zc := GenerateComplex(400, -2, 1, -1.35, 1.35)
sol := LinearAlgebra[Map](MyMandel, Zc)
img := Create(sol)