In Maple you can give an expression a name so that you can refer to it
by the name later on. The following example shows how to define the expression
and denote it by the name **p**.

> p:= x^3-3*x^2+4;

Names can be longer than one letter, e.g. `dist` would be a valid
name for an expression. In general, Maple statements must be
terminated with a semicolon (;). The main exception is when you are
using the on-line help, as described below. The ``:='' notation is
becoming common in Mathematics and Computer Science; in English it
means ``is defined to be''.

Maple understands common mathematical notation in defining expressions, as shown in Table .

**Table:** Binary arithmetic operators

Note that Maple doesn't allow implied multiplication. The string `
3x` would be interpreted as the name `3x' and not as 3 times x!

Maple has many commands for manipulating expressions. For example the
`factor` command finds the factors involving rational roots of a
polynomial and prints out the (partially) factored result. The command
for substituting one expression into another has the syntax

**>**`subs(`*variable = value,expression*`);`

where *variable* is a variable that appears in the expression *
expression* and *value* can be a number or an expression. The two
examples below demonstrate subtituting the number 1 and the expression
for **x** in the expression `p` we defined in the previous
example.

> subs(x=1,p);

> subs(x=t^2,p);

would result in the expression . For more commands involving expressions, see the on-line help or the section on Maple commands.

Mon Aug 28 09:31:56 EDT 1995