My variable is alpha, \( \alpha \), but I defined it as

**al_pha**since Maxima doesn't like variables that are already defined and many of those are Greek variables. I just broke it up phonetically. I set alpha to be a constant by

al_pha: 30*%pi/180

(I think using just "pi" works too. It does, it just leaves it in symbolic form. See screen shots.)

The

**colon**(

**:**) provides the capability to define the

**variable**al_pha in Maxima. I also multiplied by Pi and divided by 180 in order to get al_pha from degrees (30) into radians since I am going to be dealing with trigonometric functions.

Next, I define my function as

**lamb_da**as

lamb_da(x):= (csc(x))^2

Note, that I used "x" even though I want the angle alpha. We will call lamb_da for al_pha later. So the

**colon**(

**:**)

**the**

*plus***equal sign**(

**=**) attains a

**function**definition in Maxima. Also note that in order to square cosecant in Maxima I had to wrap in parentheses and then square. I also could have done

csc(x)*csc(x)

but who wants to do that for 2 or higher?!

Screen shots:

Notice the difference between using %pi and pi gives 4 and \( \csc ^2 \left( \dfrac{\pi}{6}\right) \), respectively.

I then add more to lamb_da once I know it is working properly.

I can check it with KAlgebra.

I found this very good pdf where I discovered how to define a function and parameter:

resources.eun.org/xplora/Maxima_Xplora.pdf

Also this can be found in the Maxima documentation here:

7.6 Assignment operators - http://maxima.sourceforge.net/docs/manual/en/maxima_7.html#SEC41

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