Finite Math for Windows
VERSION 2
Howard J. Weiss
Finite Math Home 

Finite Math for Windows is a userfriendly software package that enables students to easily solve problems and/or check their work in Finite Mathematics. It consists of 17 modules that correspond to the chapters in most Finite Mathematics books. Use of the software will move the students from the calculator world into the more businesslike world of software to help prepare them for their careers.
About the software
The goal in developing this software has been to provide students with a userfriendly Windows program in order to enable them to easily explore the topics commonly referred to as Finite Mathematics. While students have been successfully using calculators in order to obtain answers to Finite Mathematics problems, this software package provides much more capability than a calculator.
Ø Finite Math for
Windows provides more models than
a calculator. For example, straight lines can be graphed based on any one of
four forms (slopeintercept, pointslope, pointpoint, normal form) rather than
the slopeintercept form required of calculators.
Ø It enables students to see not only the answers but
the intermediate calculations for problems. For example, all of the
computations involved in matrix multiplication, linear programming or systems
of linear equations are shown rather than just the solution.
Ø It will help students to decide what the next step is
in a procedure. For example, when solving simultaneous equations the student
can choose the next step, have the computer perform the next step or have the
computer show the student what the next step should be.
Ø It can provide more or better visual displays for
those topics that are graphical in nature. For example, when graphing equations
the parameters can be varied very easily using scrollbars in order to see the
effects of the changes on the lines.
Ø It provides more answers than does a calculator. For
example, the student can see a complete marginal analysis for linear
programming with this software.
Ø The software comes with files for the examples in the
most popular Finite Mathematics textbooks including those by Armstrong &
Davis; Barnett, Ziegler and Byleen; Goldstein, Schneider & Siegel; Lial,
Greenwell & Ritchie, Maki & Thompson; and Mizrahi and Sullivan. This
way the students can easily see how to apply the software to problems in the
textbook.
This program has the standard look and feel of Windows so learning the package should pose no problem. Thus, with a small investment in time in exploring this exciting, new program, students will easily be able to completely solve problems in their finite mathematics textbook
Software features
Ø The graphical user interface for the software is a
standard Windows interface. Anyone familiar with a standard spreadsheet, word
processor, or presentation package in Windows will easily be able to use the
software. This standard interface includes the customary menu, toolbar, status
bar, and help files of Windows programs.
Ø Even though the software contains 17 modules (11
models and 6 custom calculators) the screens for every model are consistent, so
that after you become accustomed to using one model you will have an easy time
with the other models. Similarly, the screens for the calculators have the same
consistent appearance which leads to ease of understanding and use of the
calculators.
Ø File storage and retrieval is simple. Files are opened
and saved in the usual Windows fashion and, in addition, file extensions are
determined by module, which makes it easy to find previously saved files.
Ø Data and results, including graphs, can be copied and
pasted between this application and other Windows applications.
Ø The screen components and the colors can be customized
by the user. This can be particularly effective on overhead data shows.
Ø The user can select the desired output to print and,
in addition, several print formatting options are available.
Ø The software can be set to automatically save a file
after data has been entered and/or to automatically solve a problem after data
has been entered.
Ø The spreadsheettype data editor makes data entry and
editing extremely easy. In addition, whenever data is to be entered, there is a
clear instruction given on the screen describing what is to be entered. Also,
when data is entered incorrectly a clear error message is displayed.
Ø Intermediate steps in solving problems are generally
available for display.
Ø The display has been color coded so that answers will
appear in a different color from data.
Ø There is a menu of modules available that corresponds
to the textbook if you are using a textbook on the list.
User
support
Ø Example files that correspond to examples from these
textbooks are included with the package.
Ø The manual is available
online from the HELP menu in two formats (DOC and PDF).
Ø Any upgrades are available on the Internet through the
download library, which can be easily accessed. (http://weissSoftware.com/download.html).
Ø Help is available by contacting fm@WeissSoftware.com. In addition,
this manual is available as a Word document, HTML manual or a PDF file on the
installation CD and also it may be installed directly onto your computer.
About the developer
Howard J. Weiss received his bachelor’s degree in Applied
Mathematics and Computer Science from
He has combined his expertise in applied mathematics and his experience with software to develop Finite Math for Windows.