The purpose of this book is to help you learn and apply the power of algebra by harnessing the power of computers to do symbolic manipulation. It uses the University of Waterloo's MAPLE software, one of several computer algebra systems that are revolutionizing the teaching and learning of high school and college mathematics (as well as the way many mathematicians do their jobs). The book is intended as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, a conventional "pencil and paper" algebra text. It can be used in conjunction with any text that covers the material found in a typical college algebra course.
My approach to writing the book was to examine the computational demands (both symbolic and numerical) of each topic and ask: "How can students apply Maple's capabilities to enhance their understanding and build confidence in their ability to solve problems?" Whenever mathematical matters have arisen, I have tried to strike a balance between making the book readable on its own and at the same time minimizing duplication of material likely to be covered in detail in a textbook.
This text is suitable for both high school and undergraduate algebra and pre-calculus courses.