Proposal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for a
Campus-wide Site License for Maple V Mathematical Software
Submitted by Louis J. Gross, Professor of Mathematics and Ecology, on
behalf of the below listed units.
March 1, 1996
The below listed units and departments request the support of the central
administration to enable the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to
obtain a campus-wide license for the Maple V Software package from
Waterloo Maple, Inc. We believe the benefits for both the teaching and
research activities of this campus would be substantial, and that the
cost of this license is small relative to these benefits. The license,
under the Sir Isaac Newton Plan, would allow for unlimited use of Maple
V on all University-owned computer platforms on campus supported by
Maple (including Windows, Windows NT, Windows 95, Macintosh, Linux, and a
wide variety of UNIX platforms), and allow use on faculty-owned machines
including those off campus. A quote for the cost of this product is
attached, and it should be noted that at $12,098 for the entire campus,
this is a tremendous savings over what individual licenses would cost
if they were to be made available on the systems run by even half of
the below listed departments and units.
Educational Justification:
The use of Maple and similar packages to aid in classroom teaching, in-class
projects, and out-of-class assignments has been increasing consistently
in mathematics, science and engineering classes nationwide. The lack of a
readily available, uniform package across the campus hinders the
access of students to the computational capability of these packages and
limits the types of assignments that faculty can expect students to complete.
A high percentage of recent teaching material in mathematics and various
sciences makes use of these packages. The decision of the Engineering College
to utilize the MATLAB computational package across the College is one local
indication that the increased use of such software is critical to modern
education in the applied sciences. Campus-wide availability of such a package
will assure that faculty can use the full power of such packages in their
instructional efforts, knowing that students have access to the package.
Research Justification:
Maple and similar packages allow for relatively rapid analysis of a huge
range of standard mathematical areas, including basic calculus, differential
and difference equations, linear algebra, probability, and many other areas.
In addition to the capability to solve problems numerically, these packages
include symbolic equation solvers, which allows for the derivation of
analytic solutions for certain problems. The packages also offer a wide range
of visualization options for data, either produced by the program, or read in
from some experimental or observational setting. The language of these packages
is relatively simple to master, in comparison to the the effort necessary for
a novice to code similar techniques in a standard programming language. The
algorithms have been well tested to assure that the solutions obtained are
accurate. All of this ensures that the packages are widely applicable across
science and engineering, and indeed there are WWW sites with examples of
applications of these packages to many areas.
Alternative Packages:
A cost comparison of Maple and Mathematica is below. As there is relatively
little functional difference between these for general use on campus, we
request support for a Maple license. An additional argument for Maple is that
it more readily couples to the MATLAB package that the Engineering College
and other units use extensively, than does Mathematica. Note that at this
point, no University-wide site license for MATLAB is being offered by its
producers.
Mathematica $26,000 for a 1 year license on all platforms on all campus
machines, not allowed on faculty machines at home. This
license has a time bomb and fails after 1 year.
$13,000 for renewal for each year and Univ. agrees to a
minimum of 2 years of renewal
Will negotiate with Univ. for discounted prices to sell
full version to students for their own use.
Maple $12,098 for a license on all platforms on all campus
machines, including on faculty machines at home (this
price makes use of a discount given us for past purchases).
This is a permanent license for whatever versions are
produced that year - it does not expire at the end of
the year.
$7,500 for renewal for each year, with no requirement that
we renew.
Will negotiate with Univ. for discounted prices to sell
full version to students for their own use.
Will give us 5 free copies of Theorist and Expressionist
and 5 complete hardcopy Maple documentation sets.
Will negotiate for additional discounted copies of
the full hardcopy Maple documentation set.
The above is only valid if we purchase by March 31, 1996
Request:
We request that the central administration support the purchase of the Maple
V license by covering the costs not met by the below commitments, for the
initial purchase of the Sir Isaac Newton Plan by March 31, 1996. As the below
commitments total $8,300, the cost to the central administration would be
$3,798. The license includes 5 copies of the full documentation for the product
as well as 5 copies of the products Expressionist and Theorist, and this
proposal assumes that these five copies will go to the units indicated by a *
below. We request that central management of this license be handled by the
appropriate section of the Department of Information Infrastructure and that
this section investigate the purchase of a University-wide student license
which would allow students to purchase a copy of Maple V for their personal
machines at low cost.
Respectfully submitted by:
Department of Mathematics (Commitment of $1000) *
Division of Biological Sciences (Commitment of $500)
EE Systems Laboratory in Electrical Engineering (Commitment of $1000) *
The Science Alliance (Commitment of $1000)
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering
Science (Commitment of $1000) *
Engineering Computing Center (Commitment of $2000) *
Department of Computer Science (Commitment of $1000) *
Department of Chemistry (Commitment of $800)