Mathematica Guide

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What is Mathematica?

 Mathematica is a powerful global computing environment. Ideal for use in engineering, mathematics, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, and a wide range of other fields, it makes possible a new level of automation in algorithmic computation, interactive manipulation, and dynamic presentation--as well as a whole new way of interacting with the world of data. 

Getting Mathematica...

Mathematica is currently installed on all public Windows (PC) labs (see Software Available on Public Computers).

Mathematica also can be installed on:

  • Faculty/staff school-owned machines: Contact the HelpDesk for Installers.
  • Faculty/staff personally-owned machines: Installers are available here.
  • Students' personally-owned machines: Students can buy discounted licenses through Wolfram's Web store, but if you're teaching with Mathematica or lots of students will be purchasing licenses, please contact Kelvin Mischo for better discounts.

Are you interested in putting Mathematica elsewhere? Please let the HelpDesk know.

What is Mathematica used for in a university setting?

Mathematica has a tremendous amount of uses, including...

  • lecture presentations, writing journal articles, and student lab reports
  • individual student projects
  • research and writing

See Wolfram's Screencast and Video Gallery for "Portraits of Success," "Feature Spotlights," and "Neat Examples."

What are the best steps to start using Mathematica?

If you are brand-new to Mathematica, below are some suggestions on the best ways to get started.


  1. Watch the "Hands-On Start to Mathematica" tutorial screencast.
  2. Review the Mathematica Thesis Paper Tutorial (opens in Mathematica).
  3. Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  4. Launch Mathematica, open the Classroom Assistant, and perform your first few computations.
  5. You're now ready for the projects that faculty will assign.


  1. Sign up for the "Overview of Mathematica for Education" seminar.
  2. Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  3. Find some prebuilt examples and courseware from the Demonstrations Project, MathWorld, and the Library Archive.
  4. Assign the above steps in the student section to your classes as homework.
  5. Sign up for the Faculty Program.
  6. Take other seminars relevant to your work.
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