A note of late March 2017. You may encounter a problem opening my Maple worksheets (as indeed I do myself) here at my web site - it would appear to depend on the internet browser being used. Thus, if I attempt to open one of my worksheets using Interner Explorer there is never a problem, whereas if I use Firefox then all that one sees - this is just an example - is something like this:

{VERSION 3 0 "IBM INTEL NT" "3.0" } {USTYLETAB {CSTYLE "Maple Input" -1 0 "Courier" 0 0 128 0 128 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "2D Math" -1 2 "Times" 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "2D Comment" 2 18 "" 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 } {CSTYLE "2D Output" 2 20 "" 0 0 0 128 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE " " -1 256 "" 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "" -1 257 "" 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "" -1 258 "" 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "" -1 259 "" 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 }{CSTYLE "" and so on (almost at infinitum)...

I asked Maplesoft for advice on this and they recommended doing the following (and I found it worked) :

  1. Don't attempt directly to open the worksheet (by clicking on my link), instead right click and save the worksheet to (say) the download folder.

  2. Now that the worksheet is in the download folder (cut it out if you wish and put into whatever folder you wish) you may open the worksheet in the usual way (I should add that while I see this 'works', I have absolutely no idea as to why it does... ) [END OF NOTE].



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How I became a Maple user. I never used a computer for any reason until I was almost fifty... In the summer of 1993 I inaugurated the Mathematics part of the Talented Youth Programme at Dublin City University (see my account of what I did). One day, chatting with Alastair Wood - DCU's then Head of Mathematics - and some of his graduate students, one of them remarked to Alastair how he had done some work "using Mathematica"... I was puzzled by this since I thought he was talking about Mathematika (the mathematics journal), and I asked something like "how could you possibly have used Mathematika to do some mathematics?" Of course this produced puzzlement with the student... It emerged that we had different views of the meaning... : they had never heard of the journal Mathematika, and I had never heard of the computer algebra software Mathematica (in fact I had never heard of computer algebra software...).

I asked the student if he would show me how it worked, and within a minute I was totally hooked (I was not to know at the time that my entire mathematical future was determined in that moment... ). I bought a copy, and experimented (badly I should say), but already I had decided that I wanted to have this for my own students in my own college. Then, taking someone else's advice, I discovered Maple, and switched to it for myself and my students. I could have had no idea then what a fundamental part Maple would play in my own mathematical work...

I began to use Maple in my teaching in January 1995. At that time I was a complete novice in the use of computing in my mathematics teaching, and benefited greatly from a new, temporary colleague, Dr. Mark Daly (to whom I dedicated my substantial August 2001 Fermat's little theorem talk). Mark was an expert in the use of Maple, and to him I owe whatever facility I acquired in those days in using Maple. I always knew - right from the start - what I wanted to do with Maple, but there was the initial problem of bridging the gap between what I wanted to do, and finding out how to do it.

Another great support to me in those early days was David Joyner (at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis) who displayed some of my 3rd. year Number Theory and Cryptography worksheets at a time when my own College didn't have a Web site (outsiders would not believe the struggle it was to force the college to abtain internet facilities for staff; the college must then have been the very last educational institution in all of Ireland to have email and web facilities for its staff). I dedicated my Chicago, November 2003 Bill Clinton, Bertie Ahern, and digital signatures talk to David.

My initial interest in the use of Maple was for teaching purposes only; I could not have known in those early days the profound impact Maple was to have on my own mathematical work. An early sign of that may be seen in the Fermat 6 corner of my site, followed by the Jacobi link (below).

There are many Maple worksheets located in other corners of my web site:

  1. Millennium prime

  2. Fermat's little theorem

  3. Fermat Record Number

  4. Transcendental numbers

  5. Fermat 6

  6. esquared

  7. Jacobi

My views on Computer Algebra Systems in general, and Maple in particular, are expressed by Doron Zeilberger in his Opinion #47 and Opinion #26. Taking my lead from Doron Zeilberger, I dedicated my Dalhousie colloquium talk - as may be read in the above Gauss Maple file - as follows:

I dedicate this talk to Bruno Buchberger and to the creators of Maple, Bruce W. Char, Keith O. Geddes, W. Morven Gentleman and Gaston H. Gonnet

Finally, I am immensely proud that Doron Zeilberger has included me (because of my Maple work) in his Favourite Links.

Contact details. jbcosgrave at