The Mobile Polynomial

New software puts the power of Mathematica into your phone

You never know when you’ll be dining out with your friends and have to work out a partial derivative or two. This neat little program puts hundreds of mathematics and graphics functions into such a small package that it fits into Palm, Windows Mobile, and other smart phones, including—most recently—the iPhone. Of course, it also runs on regular Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers.

SpaceTime resembles a tiny version of the Mathematica or Maple analytical programs. Its creator, Chris DeSalvo, started out as a game designer, which perhaps explains how he managed to squeeze some astonishingly nice graphics and even animated displays onto such tiny screens. There are even sliders that let you vary a parameter and see the effects on a plotted function. SpaceTime is very easy to use, remarkably powerful, and the price is right.

Give copies to the students in your family and maybe they’ll create animated Möbius strips on their cellphones instead of texting their friends from the back row of math class.

About the Author

KENNETH R.FOSTER reviews SpaceTime, software for your mobile device that can do advanced mathematical functions, create three-dimensional graphs, and more [p. 26]. An IEEE Fellow, Foster is a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and former president of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.