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What is the the most educational software for high school and college math?

Not the one that just gives you the answer, but has any of the following:

Edit: Software mentioned in answer added in brackets

  • provides step-by-step solutions [WolframAlpha];
  • can verify your step-by-step solution [empty];
  • can give you hints [empty];
  • can generate problems similar to given one [empty];

or something along those lines.

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I always thought this stuff was awesome – Tom Boardman Aug 14 '10 at 11:10

9 Answers 9

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Maple can give step-by-step solutions as well as give hints on what rule you could apply next.

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Wolfram Alpha. Try, for instance "solve x^2-x-1=0" and click "show steps".

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There is Microsoft Math. I haven't actually used it, but I know that it can provide step by step solutions. Here's a nice review. Also it's $20.

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MathXpert supposedly fits your first 3 criteria (though I have never tried it).

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Good educational software allows one to explore on one's own and at the same time provides problem solving tools. A very nice example of this, and its free, is:

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Also, Bagatrix has a suite of math software that shows you individual steps for math problems that it could solve. In my experience though, it is quite limited in what it can actually solve.

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Algebrator (also called Softmath) is a computer algebra system (CAS), which was developed in the late 1990s by Neven Jurkovic of Softmath, San Antonio, Texas. It can show solution steps and context sensitive explanations.

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DataMelt is a free math program written in Java and runs on Mac/Windows/Linux. It has hundreds of example that makes it perfect for education.

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The question asks for software that helps with learning the manipulations involved in elementary computations, not "scientific computation, data analysis and data visualization". Please don't spam recommendations for a program (especially an irrelevant one) even if there is no profit motive. – epimorphic Mar 29 at 1:32

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