John May

Dr. John May

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16 years, 16 days
Pasadena, California, United States

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I have been a part of the Mathematical Software Group at Maplesoft since 2007. I have a Ph.D in Mathematics from North Carolina State University as well as Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Oregon. I have been working on research in computational mathematics since 1997. I currently work on symbolic solvers and visualization as well as other subsystems of Maple.

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These are Posts that have been published by John May

Sleep Sort is a hilarious (to me anyway) joke dressed up as a sorting algorithm.

Here it is in non-obfuscated (if somewhat garbagey) Maple code (need version 15 since it uses ?Threads,Sleep )

SleepSort := proc(L::list(posint),$)
local Lout, p, i;
    Lout := NULL;

    p := proc(n::posint,$)
        Lout := Lout, n;
    end proc:

    Threads:-Wait( seq( Threads:-Create( p(i...

Another feature added to Maple 15 partially in response to the MaplePrimes forums is the new/improved ?HTTP package.  It provides one-step commands for fetching data from the web: much simpler than using the ?Sockets package directly. In most cases, the command ?HTTP,Get is what you would use:

 (s, page, h) := HTTP:-Get(""):

The above fetches the HTML source of a page from Wikipedia and stores it as a string 'page'. The other two outputs are 's', and integer HTTP status code and 'h' a table of the headers returned in the HTTP response from the server.  Compare this to the amount of code needed to fetch data in my Baby Names application for Maple 12, for example.

In part due to a large number of requests on MaplePrimes, the command ?plottools,getdata was added to Maple 15. This new command gives programmers a better way to access the internals of plots and do things with the data they contain.

I was trying to come up with something really fun to do with this command, and another recent obsession came to mind: the game Minecraft.  Minecraft is nice, since like Maple it is written in Java and runs on lots of platforms!  For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a a sort of mostly unstructured "sandbox" game. The player starts in alone in a procedurally generated landscape consisting of blocks. They player can collect blocks with their hands or with tools and they use them to build new things. The wide array of things that people create in Minecraft is staggering.

So, I thought I would write some commands to export 3D plots in Maple to block structures in Minecraft.

Now that Maple 15 is out, I thought I should share this little application I made: It is an application partially inspired by the BMI tracker in Nintendo's WiiFit application; you could easily use it to track a weight loss goal. But it could also be used to track other quantifiable goals. I am posting it here mostly because it takes advantage of two new features in Maple 15.

Back when I was working at the University of Waterloo, I found several copies of a VHS tape sitting on a dusty bookshelf full of old Maple boxes and manuals. The tape's cover had a line drawing of Issac Newton on it and the title "Maple V: The Future of Mathematics".

There was...

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