Free math software downloads

By Murray Bourne, 05 Apr 2009

For many years now I’ve been advocating greater use of math software in education. Computer algebra systems have been around for a few decades and yet many math educators continue to resist them.

High cost has been one of the main barriers to the implementation of computer math software. Sophisticated packages like Matlab ($500 for a student license), MathCAD ($995 single user, $129 for student license) or Mathematica ($3120 for standard download and $139 for students) are beyond the reach of most institutions and certainly most individual students.

So here is a list of free math software downloads that you may find useful. I have restricted the list to products that are suitable for the range of topics in my Interactive Mathematics site (that is, from beginner algebra through trigonometry, logarithms, graphs, and calculus up to Laplace Transform and Fourier Series). These products could replace expensive high school math software.

I have only included packages that are still currently under development. Each of the following would be appropriate for incorporating into an interactive whiteboard lesson – especially if the students are given the opportunity to interact and learn from their explorations. Any one of them would be good math software for gifted students too.

I will update this page as more packages come to my notice.

Please feel free to add your suggestions to this list.

Product Platform Main features Licensing
GeoGebra Java-based, so PC, Mac, Linux Dynamically interact with geometric figures and graphs. Can perform differentiation and integration on functions. Ideal for investigating and exploring a wide array of math. Open source
Math Mechanixs PC only Extendable function library, a function solver, 2D and 3D graphing, a calculus facility allowing single, double and triple integration and differentiation. Free registration required
iMoney Lite PC only Keep track of personal finance – income and expenses, assets and liabilities. Draw up a budget, track investment portfolios, automatically balances a checkbook. Freeware version of commercial product
Calc 3D Pro PC only Mathematical graph and charting software for geometry and statistics Can do best fits, function plotting, integration. It handles vectors, matrices, complex numbers, quaternions, coordinates, regular polygons and intersections. Calculates distances, intersections, volume and area for point, line, plane, sphere, circle. Cartesian, spherical and cylindrical coordinates. Carthesian plot, polar plot, parametric plot, best fit, fast fourier transformation, histogram. See screenshots. Donations requested
LiveMath Viewer Java-based, so PC, Mac, Linux, Solaris Sparc Allows user to interact with documents made by the commercial LiveMath Editor. Like the Mathematica Player, you can investigate math documents, but cannot create and save your own. Used throughout Interactive Mathematics. Seems there has been very little development of this product lately, so I dropped it from the site. Freeware viewer version of commercial product
Mathematica Player PC, Mac, Linux Has an embedded Mathematica engine, allowing user to interact with thousands of available "demonstrations". You can investigate math documents, but cannot create and save your own. See my overview. Freeware viewer version of commercial product
GraphSketch Web-based, so PC, Mac, Linux Creates smooth graphs of polynomial, trigonometric and exponential functions. See my review: GraphSketch.com – free online math grapher Freely available – no download required
SMath Studio
[Link no longer available]
Smartphone, PC, Linux. requires Microsoft’s .NET Framework SMath has a "paper-like" interface that allows the user to create mathematical documents containing formulas, graphs, text and images. It can perform various calculations, including matrices, calculus and trigonometry. It is similar in concept to Scientific Notebook, that is used extensively in Interactive Mathematics (see SNB Info). SMath has great promise, but falls short in documentation (I could not find any tutorials or "how to" information) and usability. Freeware
Maxima PC only Computer algebra system that can perform algebra and calculus, and plot 2-D and 3-D curves. PC, Linux. Entry of math is code-like (not user friendly) and the output is basic. Free. GNU General Public License

Here is some other free educational math software that didn’t make this list, but you may find interesting:

  • DC Proof [PC-based, interactive software tool to aid critical thinking by using the methods of formal logic and proof]
  • Numerical Solutions [PC-based numerical- and graphic-based packages. This is shareware (must pay after 30 days). Some nice features of investigation of math, but the fixed 800×600 screen and primary colors look like something out of 1995.]

I hope you found this list of math solving software to be useful.

See the 18 Comments below.

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18 Comments on “Free math software downloads”

  1. Ross Isenegger says:

    I have been keeping a wiki page of calculators, CAS and some plotting utilities at http://mathfest.wikispaces.com/Online+Calculators. i have some of the ones you have listed and some others.

  2. Murray says:

    Hi Ross – good to hear from you.

    That’s a great list and thanks for sharing.

  3. Helder Ferreira Pires says:

    OK! Muito bom este software. Helder

  4. S Ahmed says:

    Thanks for this list, I look forward to trying out some of this software. I thought I would recommend a free graph-plotting software that I use:
    http://www.padowan.dk/graph/
    It’s a small download and very easy to use.

  5. Murray says:

    Thanks for the “Graph” recommendation, S Ahmed. I like the “shade between” feature and the obvious versatility of this software.

    Looking forward to trying it out.

  6. Penny says:

    Does anyone know of any free maths software that allows teachers to generate senior maths quizzes/tests? Something that is geared around maths so that it uses mathematical notation easily. eg Hot Potatoes is too general. Asking for the moon in a paper bag?

  7. Friday Faves « Joyful Journey says:

    [...] 2) Square Circle Z [...]

  8. Ranjith Pillai says:

    very useful for me
    thank u very much

  9. Prabhakar says:

    Fantastic site!
    Can I suggest the addition of Excalibur which is an Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) calculator? The site is: http://excalibur.en.softonic.com/

    All the best
    Prabhakar

  10. Murray says:

    @Prabhakar: Thanks for the additional resource – it looks interesting!

  11. hites says:

    please make a software that can solve all maths problems if u can mnake . give me reply

  12. Murray says:

    @Hites: Such software will never exist! The closest we can ever come is the human brain.

  13. KARANJIT SINGH ARORA says:

    I am pleased to learn MATHS at the age of 47 and feels supported to use the site http://www.intmath.com/ to head further in the mathematical direction.
    KARANJIT SINGH ARORA

  14. JUFFREY P. CALIMPITAN says:

    i am so thankful that i know and i have now this software… because as a math major secondary education, i can response to the technological explosion that we have right now in this world…. i can use this soft wares in my future career in teaching mathematics specially to those who have difficulties in MATHEMATICS

  15. Al Moledina says:

    A few years ago, I developed a Math training program for my kids. I would now like to expose it so other kids can benefit as mine did. The program is designed to improve mental sharpness. It is great for all ages, including adults. Please have a look at my blog, and tell me your opinion.

  16. Saeid Nourian says:

    Great blog! May I suggest “Graphing Calculator 3D” to be added to your list? It’s easier to use than most other graphing software out there and it generates nicer 3D graphs. Works in Windows, Mac and Linux.

  17. Murray says:

    @Saeid: Thanks for the resource. (You can find it at: http://www.runiter.com/graphing-calculator/. There are free and paid versions, online and download. It’s Java-based, so won’t work in most mobile devices.)

    It’s quite easy to use and produces quite nice graphs.

  18. Safrudiannur says:

    I am mathematics teacher from Indonesia.
    Thanks for the list. Those math soft wares are useful for me to teach mathematics to my students.

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