SE-Kursus Matematik 2A
Hold 3, 4 og 6
Introduction to MapleTA
What is MapleTA
MapleTA is a web based system for practicing, testing, and evaluating
mathematical skills (or other skills). We will use it in several ways
in the course on linear algebra. We will use the system to correct
solutions to the problems posed every time we meet. The system will
also be used for the exam that you will take at the end of the course.
Stated very briefly, once you are logged onto the system and do an
assignment, then the system will present you with problems to be
solved. You solve the problem as usual, ie using pen and paper, and
then finally enter your answer into the system.
What is needed?
is almost always the case for modern browser. And of course, you need
a computer, and an internet connection. Up until exam time the system
is accessible from anywhere. During the exam period the system will be
closed, except for those using the computers designated for the
exam. More about this later.
Getting onto the system
Start your web browser and go to the address given to you by your
instructor, For security reasons this information is not available as
You will see a
screen that looks like
You can read off the location of the home page for Hold4 from this
screen shot. In the two other cases replace Hold4 by either Hold3 or Hold6.
You can see on this screen that no assignments are given yet. Click
on the link "See list of supported browsers", to see the requirements
for your browser.
Your first step is to register yourself as a student in the
class. Click on the link "Register as a student in this class". You
will get to the following screen
Fill out all the required fields and submit the form. Be sure to
write down your user name and password, and keep the latter in a safe
IMPORTANT Register only once! Registration will be possible
only for the first few weeks of the course. After that registration
will be closed. If you do not register, you cannot take the exam,
hence will fail the course!
LIMITATIONS When you register, you can only use the letters
a-z and A-Z. You cannot use Danish letters, accents etc. You are
limited to one first name, one initial (middle name), and one last
name. So adapt you name to these requirements, if needed.
STUDENT ID You must fill out the field with Student ID. Here
you must use your Aalborg University "studienummer".
Using the system
You will receive detailed information on how to use the system during
the course. Here are some important points to note. The first one
concerns navigation between the various pages. Let us take
another look at the registration page. Now we have added red numbers 1
The button marked 1 is the back button in MapleTA. Always us
this button to navigate back. Similar for forward buttons, when they
apper. If you use the browser back button, you may LOSE YOUR WORK, and may have to start all over.
The button marked 2 above is the home button. It takes you back
to the starting page for your class, as in the first screen shot
The button marked 3 is the help button. We will discuss the use of
this button later.
There will be assignments for you to do almost every time the
class meets. There are several types of assignments. One type is
called practice. You can do such an assignment without logging
in. The result of your work is not recorded. Another type is called
Homework/Quiz. Those posted will usually be what is called
Reworkable. To do an assignment of this type you must log
in. The system keeps a record of your results. You can view your own
results. That the assignment is Reworkable means that you can come
back and try to correct any errors made. Each assignment has a period
of availability. In this course it will be mostly Unlimited. This
means that you can come back anytime and do assignments once more.
As stated above, the system keeps a record of results of
Homework/Quiz assignments. These records will only be used by the
instructor to monitor progress, and to decide on topics and
assignments for problem sessions.
The exam is a special type of assignment. Detailed information will
be given later.
Trying an assignment
If you try an assignment, once you have logged in, you will get to a
screen looking something like
There are red numbers 1 to 7 on the screen shot. Here is a brief
explanation of each numbered item.
- The question and the number of points obtained by correctly
- In this question you are given three reply options. You
should work out your answer with pen and paper, as usual, and then
mark your reply. This person has chosen the second reply option.
- Once you have marked your answer, press the next button. Notice
that on this screen the browser navigation buttons have been removed,
so here you need extra efforts to make errors of the type mentioned above.
- By pressing the jump button, you can select from a list of (in
this case 13) questions. This is useful, if you are reworking an
assignment and just need to try a few questions once more.
- Once you have solved all questions, press the grade button. If
there are unanswered questions, or if there are input errors in your
questions, you get one chance to go back.
- This is the help button.
- If you press this button, you get a screen as shown below. If you
quit the session in any other way, your work is lost. So do not
close down your browser without first saving and quitting.
Since the homework we do here has unlimited availability, we can
return anytime and do it again.
Let us look at another example. Here we have entered a practice
type assignment. The screen shot of the first page is
In this case there is an answer box to be filled out. You must work
out the answer, using pen and paper, and then enter the answer into
the box using Maple syntax. The instructions repeat this, and
if you enter your answer using a wrong syntax, two things can
happen. Either the system grades the answer as wrong, or the system
gives an error message. There is some help built in to solve this
If you submit an answer with syntax errors, you will get a chance to
correct these before the system proceeds to grading.
Since this course is on
Linear Algebra, we must use Maple syntax. The simplified syntax
allowed for some types of replies should be entirely avoided. Now the
good news is that this is all you need to know about Maple. We will
practice the use of Maple syntax many times during the course.
One more thing. There are two packages with linear algebra commands
in Maple. This course uses the newer one, which is the one called
LinearAlgebra. The other one is called
linalg, and this is the one
used on the CD accompanying Lay's book. When you enter solutions in
you must use the syntax
from the package
LinearAlgebra. See the separate document with a
discussion of Maple syntax.
Revideret den 24. januar 2007 af Arne