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Have you ever wished you could post interactive mathematics on the web but gave up the idea because you had no time to learn to program in Java? Then *LiveMath* may be just what you have dreamed about!

Carl R. Spitznagel is Professor of Math and Computer Science at John Carroll University.

*LiveMath* is a relatively inexpensive computer algebra system that has evolved from the software products previously known as *Theorist*, *MathView*, and *MathPlus*. If any of these names sound familiar, it may be because until 1999 this software was marketed by Waterloo Maple Software, although for a number of years it saw little further development. Its present owner, Theorist Interactive, LLC, is dedicated to continuing to develop and enhance the product.

What is special about *LiveMath* is not that it can serve as a desktop symbolic manipulator and graphics processor -- every computer algebra system can do that. What makes *LiveMath* unique is that it is designed to function in a spreadsheet-like fashion, in which a change to a previously written "proposition" causes a cascade of immediate changes to ripple through the resulting "conclusions," thereby allowing the user to interact with the software in a way that is not possible with most other computer algebra systems. [*Editor's note*: This spreadsheet-like behavior is also available in *Mathcad*, a more general but more expensive system.] Although this, by itself, would still not be enough to make me interested in dabbling with yet another CAS, the truly unique thing about *LiveMath* is that its inherent interactivity can be placed on the web without any programming or other specialized skills, and with relatively little cost. Anyone who has ever written a basic web page can learn to create interactive mathematical notebooks with *LiveMath*, and make them available over the web!

The one hitch is that, in order to interact with a *LiveMath* notebook on the web, you must first install a free browser plug-in, which can be obtained from the LiveMath download site. After you install the correct plug-in for your operating system, you will be able to interact with the examples listed in the remainder of this review. **Please do that now.**

* Editor's note, 11/04: * For purposes of reading this review, you can skip the download step. In the 2.5 years since the review appeared, changes in the

Carl Spitznagel, "Interactive Mathematics on the Web: LiveMath," *Convergence* (November 2004)

Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications