Free math software downloads
By Murray Bourne, 05 Apr 2009
[Updated: October 2017]
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.
|GeoGebra||Cross platform on all devices, including Android and iOS (Apple). Reduced feature version for most phones.||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|
|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. Seems there has been very little development of this product lately, so I dropped it from IntMath.||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||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 27 Comments below.
8 Apr 2009 at 1:47 am [Comment permalink]
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.
8 Apr 2009 at 12:06 pm [Comment permalink]
Hi Ross - good to hear from you.
That's a great list and thanks for sharing.
10 Apr 2009 at 3:36 am [Comment permalink]
OK! Muito bom este software. Helder
15 Apr 2009 at 4:24 pm [Comment permalink]
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:
It's a small download and very easy to use.
15 Apr 2009 at 4:36 pm [Comment permalink]
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.
24 Apr 2009 at 11:49 am [Comment permalink]
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?
23 Oct 2009 at 11:14 pm [Comment permalink]
[...] 2) Square Circle Z [...]
11 Feb 2010 at 1:43 pm [Comment permalink]
very useful for me
thank u very much
4 Jul 2011 at 9:41 am [Comment permalink]
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
4 Jul 2011 at 1:55 pm [Comment permalink]
@Prabhakar: Thanks for the additional resource - it looks interesting!
18 Oct 2011 at 10:01 pm [Comment permalink]
please make a software that can solve all maths problems if u can mnake . give me reply
19 Oct 2011 at 10:43 am [Comment permalink]
@Hites: Such software will never exist! The closest we can ever come is the human brain.
30 Dec 2011 at 6:29 pm [Comment permalink]
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
21 Jul 2012 at 9:32 pm [Comment permalink]
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
29 Dec 2012 at 7:12 am [Comment permalink]
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.
17 Jul 2013 at 1:03 am [Comment permalink]
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 Jul 2013 at 9:34 am [Comment permalink]
@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.
26 Jul 2013 at 6:01 pm [Comment permalink]
I am mathematics teacher from Indonesia.
Thanks for the list. Those math soft wares are useful for me to teach mathematics to my students.
9 Jan 2015 at 3:12 am [Comment permalink]
Can anyone recommend free math instructional programs (downloadable software) for GED students (high school math) in a correctional setting where students cannot have internet access?
10 Jan 2015 at 9:57 am [Comment permalink]
Hi Linda. I'm not sure how many free resources are available, but maybe downloading slabs of Khan Academy videos may help: https://www.khanacademy.org/downloads
10 Nov 2015 at 12:43 am [Comment permalink]
You can use a graphical representation math tools line mathlab and creately for the same scenario.
13 Mar 2016 at 5:21 pm [Comment permalink]
You also could try the Aveloy Graph - data visualization application http://aveloy.com/Products/Graph.aspx
6 Mar 2017 at 10:35 pm [Comment permalink]
GeoGebra is listed above as Java Based. Current versions of GeoGebra are not Java based, It is cross platform on all tablets, Android and iOS (Apple). Reduced feature version for most phones.
Otherwise a good site.
7 Mar 2017 at 8:08 pm [Comment permalink]
@A Cron: Ah, the ever-onward march of technology. My 2009 article is looking rather dated now. Thanks for the correction and I've updated the post.
23 Sep 2017 at 8:32 am [Comment permalink]
Just thought I would mention as I am surfing the net for maths software.
This site is no longer running imoneysoft.
This site is no longer developing the free software only the paid version
This site http://mathswhizz.org/ offers free educational software. Anyway apart from that I have noticed some good sites listed. It would be nice if you just updated some of the links to sites that are still running.
11 Oct 2017 at 2:44 pm [Comment permalink]
@Nigel: Thanks for your inputs!
I removed the imoneysoft entry as you are right, it no longer exists.
Livemath still offers the free viewer, so no change there (but I updated the statement about using it on IntMath - I haven't done so for many years).
The Mathswhizz offering seems very limited and at primary school level, which is not the focus of this article.
21 Sep 2021 at 10:06 pm [Comment permalink]
Hi, I would also suggest Calcpad.
Although not much powerful, it is free and easy to use.
Supports units of measurements and some numerical methods.
It produces nice Html reports that can be opened with MS Word. Formulas are cnverted to MathType.
Perhaps, it would be suitable for engineers that need to prepare calulation notes.