Old Math Software

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

List of obsolete math software. Some in Java, some in Flash, some in Mac OS of 1990s, some Microsoft Windows, etc.


Stereographic Projection of a icosahedron, by John M Sullivan
Partial screenshot of “stereop”, by John M Sullivan.

download at http://torus.math.uiuc.edu/jms/java/stereop/ Java

stereop by mathematician John M Sullivan. This applet does Stereographic Projection of regular polyhedrons. User can choose any of cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, and they are centrally projected onto a sphere. This sphere, is then stereo-graphically projected onto a plane. User can rotate the polyhedron, and see its image on the plane change accordingly.

Hyperbolic Tesselations

a Hyperbolic Tessalation
Partial screenshot of Hyperbolic Tesselations Applet.

http://www.plunk.org/~hatch/HyperbolicApplet/ Java

Hyperbolic Tesselations Applet draws hyperbolic tilings. Superb! By Don Hatch.


MoebApplet screenshot

http://www.paulmurray.id.au/Java/MoebApplet.html Java

MoebApplet, by Paul Murray. This Java applet does real-time interactive Mobius transformation. If you are studying Mobius Transformation, this is the best applet for it. You can drag the fixed points, the poles, and a few other critical points in the plane and see the image change as you move.

Interactive plane geometry software

Interactive plane geometry software were made popular first by Geometer's Sketchpad at least back to 1994. It is a wonderful tool made possible by technology. Such program allows one to construct plane geometry drawings dynamically, much in the way of Greek's “Ruler and Compass”. For example, draw a triangle with lines bisecting the 3 angles. They intersect in a point called the incenter of the triangle. (which is also the center of the largest possible circle inside.) Now, you can drag the corners of your triangle to change its shape, and all your drawings change accordingly. Because of such dynamic power, a few theories on plane geometry have been found because of such software.

In the 1990s, there's only Geometer's Sketchpad and Cabri Geometry. In late 1990 came Cinderella, written in Java. But since about post 2000, there's a explosion of interactive geometry software. As of 2007, there are more than ten of them (counting only quality ones), many of them are free. They are all similar. They are all of high quality. Almost all of them can be saved as Java appletes so that it can be placed on the web for students to use without needing extra software. Their features differ slightly. Several of them are FreeSoftware. The following is a short commentary of the ones i've actually used (except otherwise stated).

Geometer's Sketchpad

Geometers Sketchpad 9d2da
Geometer's Sketchpad

The Geometer's Sketchpad, created by Nicholas Jackiw. This is the one that started dynamic geometry software in the early 1990s, and is still excellent. Mac OS X Mac OS Classic Windows

CaR (plane geometry)

compass and ruler by von R Grothmann
Compass and Ruler is by Rene Grothmann. Excellent. http://car.rene-grothmann.de/ Java


CaRMetal by Rene Grothmann and Eric Hakenholz. http://db-maths.nuxit.net/CaRMetal/index_en.html CaRMetal Java


boids artificial life tapeworm artificial life
A flock of birds and tapeworms in Ishihama Yoshiaki's Simulations.

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~hq8y-ishm/ Mac OS Classic Mac OS X

Simulations by Ishihama Yoshiaki. This program does lots of artificial life simulations. The program is a bit of crude. It works like a screensaver, where you just watch the interactions on the screen, and you can adjust some parameters. The program has simulations like flocks of bird, fish school, worms, swarms, and also simulate centipedes showing its gaits, and then spiders, ants, etc. It's basically a collection of simulations that satisfies the programer's curiosities himself. Not a full-fledged program nor polished, but very inspiring.


boid Craig Reynolds e00e3
original boid (1986), by Craig Reynolds

http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/ Java

Boid by Craig Reynolds, is one of the original boid machinenary. Basically, it is computer simulation of the bahavior of flock of birds or school of fishes. The gist is that each move according to the behavior of their nearest neighbors. Fascinating.

Cellebration (cellular automata)

http://www.mirwoj.opus.chelm.pl/ca/mjcell/mjcell.html Java

Cellebration by Mirek Wojtowicz plays ~12 types of Cellular Automata. This Java applet plays many types of CAs. The complete source code and binary are available for download.

modernca (cellular automata)


The site features CA gallery using Java Appletes. By George Maydwell. Java

cellular automata

http://www.cse.sc.edu/%7Ebays/CAhomePage Java

2002-05: many good cellular java appletes programs written by computer science students on a CA course. Includig cellular automata on triangular and hexagonal grids, as well as some regular tilings. Professor is Carter Bays.

Tiled CA (cellular automata)

Tiled CA by Brian Prentice 9b864
http://linuxenvy.com/bprentice/TiledCA/TiledCA.html Windows Tiled CA by Brian Prentice

Magic Polyhedrons

David Byrden's java applet David Byrden's java applet
David Byrden's magic polyhedron Java applets. http://byrden.com/puzzles/



http://www.superliminal.com/cube/cube.htm. () Windows Linux Java

MagicCube4D by Don Hatch and Melinda Green. It plays 4-dimensional Magic Cube. It also maintains record of the world's first solvers and a solution database. The source code is also available.


http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/%7Ehq8y-ishm/hyper.html Mac OS Classic Windows Java

4DRubikCube by Ishihama Yoshiaki is a 2x2x2x2 magic cube simulator.


“Polyominoes” by Kevin L Gong.

http://kevingong.com/Polyominoes/index.html Mac OS X Mac OS Classic Java Windows

Polyominoes is a polyominoes fitting game. Written by Kevin L Gong. In this program, you try to fit a set of polyominoes (connected squares) into a given shape. In another mode, two players take turns fitting polyominoes into a give shape. The first without a fitting piece losses. It's almost impossible to beat the computer. Mac, Windows and Java.

Pentominos Puzzle Solver

http://math.hws.edu/xJava/PentominosSolver/ (2018-04-07) Java

Pentominos Puzzle Solver A pentominos solver, by David Eck.


tangram v. 3.2 screenshot

http://members.aol.com/sth777/defaul.html Mac OS Classic Windows

iconTangram (v 4.1, 1999-07. ) Tangram is a popular tiling puzzle that's probably originated from China. The goal is to arrange a set of seven tiles to match a given shape. This software's interface is beautiful and well-designed. Author is S. T. Han (sth@kagi.com).



http://members.aol.com/sth777/defaul.html .Mac OS Classic Windows

Poly-Peg 1.09 by S T Han. This puzzle is sometimes known as peg solitaire. You remove pieces on a board by jumping other pieces over it. The goal is to leave only one piece on the board. PolyPeg lets you edit your own shape of square or hexagonal board and set whether diagonal jump are allowed in square board. It also include a auto solve feature.


Cary Torkelson's “Pegged”. (Mac OS, 1991) pegged.sit.hqx Mac OS Classic

Pegged is a small mac program that plays Peg Solitare. It offers the traditional cross shaped board, but with 7 arrangement of end games. Written by Cary Torkelson in 1991, but still works great under Mac OS X Classic 2003.

Peg Solitare

Peg Solitaire2
Peg Solitare for the Mac in 1990s. By anonymous. pegSolitaire.sit.hqx

Poly-Off 1.09

Poly-Off by S. T. Han http://members.aol.com/sth777/defaul.html Mac OS Classic Windows

Poly-Off 1.09 is another excellent shareware by S. T. Han. The game Poly-Off can be thought of as one type of cellular automata. In a square or hexagonal grid, you switch on or off a cell that will affect neighbor cells. The goal is to switch off all cells. I had lots of fun with this program.

Poly-Dol v.1.01


http://members.aol.com/sth777/defaul.html Mac OS Classic Windows

Poly-Dol v.1.01 by S. T. Han. The puzzle in this program is similar to a commercial program named Cogito. You shift pieces on a board until all the pieces are in certain order. You can only shift pieces in certain row, column, or array of the board. There are dozen boards to choose for play and you can make your own board shapes. I find this program to be much fun. For Mac and Windows.

Poly-Tile v.1.04


http://members.aol.com/sth777/defaul.html Mac OS Classic Windows

Poly-Tile v.1.04 by S. T. Han. This puzzel is similar to a commercial program named Tesserae, published by In-Line designs Inc. In this puzzle, Tiles of different design are layed over a board. You remove them one at a time by jumping (flipping) adjacent tiles of the same design. The goal is to leave only one tile on the board. I find this game too difficult. It's also hard to analyze because the random initial placement and designs. Like Poly-Peg and Poly-Dol, you can customize your board when you got bored with the given configurations.


KSokoban screenshot

2005-10: Sokoban (倉庫番=warehouse keeper) is a classic game invented by Hiroyuki Imabayashi in 1982. It is a puzzle where the player pushes boxes around a maze to designated locations.

Here's a Sokoban game in JavaScript: http://michbuze.club.fr/Boxworld/sokojs.htm


MYHOUSE puzzle

http://www.i-dac.com/game/myhouse/myhouse.html (2003-09,2009-02)

MYHOUSE is a clever and fun logic puzzle, by M Aono. It is a variation of the classic Sokoban. Your goal is to move a bunch of shrimps home. The shrimps move in sync. When one bump into wall, it doesn't move but the rest moves. The red blocks are fire and if one shrimps runs into it you die. Your goal is to align all shrimps in such way to move them home.


the 15-puzzle scrambled the 15-puzzle completed
This puzzle is known as the 15-puzzle.


10 tile

Klotski is a classic sliding block puzzle. Your goal is to slide the red block all the way to the right side center. Yes, it can be done. This puzzle is dicussed in Scientific American, March 1995 (Volume 272 Number 3 Pages 108-110), Mathematical Recreations by Ian Steward. A beautiful wooden set of this puzzle has been marketed by various companies. This screenshot shows a Mac program but i forgot its name or who wrote it.

Loyd's Lunacy

loyds lunacy
Loyd's Lunacy. loydsLunacy.sit.hqx Mac OS Classic

Loyd's Lunacy is another block-sliding logic puzzle. The goal is to slide the large square from upper right corner to upper left. Author is Chip Moody. Written in 1990 but still works great under Mac OS X Classic in 2003. This program has a very funny “About” dialogue.

Dirty Dozen

dirty dozen
Dirty Dozen dirtyDozen.sit.hqx Mac OS Classic

Dirty Dozen is a block-sliding logic puzzle. Writen by Nick Triantos in 1993 but still works under Mac OS X Classic in 2003.



http://www.mud.ca/puzzler/puzzler.html (2003-07, 2006-09) Windows

Puzzler is a Windows program by Noel Dilabough. Puzzler plays all types of magic polyhedrons. Puzzler plays some 20 non-trivial variations of magic polyhedrons, including the five platonic solids with different cuts. The program is great, unique, but the interface is very bad. Extremely frustrating to use. Puzzler is a shareware.

KriviznaPlus, KriDva

KriviznaPlus screenshot KriDva screenshot
“KriviznaPlus” and “KriDva”

download at http://www.hot.ee/bntren/Program.html Windows

by Viktor Massalogin. KriviznaPlus draws the Stereographic Projection from 3D to plane. KriDva draws the stereographic projection of S^3 sphere (x^2+y^2+z^2+z^2==r^2) to the 3D space. These programs are extremely fun and beautiful. I hope the author adds more explanations on the math. As of 2004, he added another version CPace.

[see Stereographic Projection]

Space Jewels

Space Jewels screenshot
Space Jewels

http://www.paradise.caltech.edu/%7Ecook/Workshop/Java/SpaceJewels/main.html Java

Space Jewels is a Java game, where you drive a spaceship in hyperbolic space to collect jewels. Author is Matthew Cook (born 1970). Matthew Cook

He has a write up http://www.paradise.caltech.edu/%7Ecook/Workshop/Math/HyperbolicLand.html

Escher Web Sketch

http://escher.epfl.ch/escher/ Java

Escher Web Sketch. This is a Java program that lets user interactively draw symmetrical patterns. By Wes Hardaker and Gervais Chapuis.

Tyler (tiling)

http://www.superliminal.com/geometry/tyler/gallery/ Java

Tyler is a Java applet that draw tilings. It is written by Melinda Green and Don Hatch.

Bob (Penrose tiling)

Penrose tiling

Bob is a Windows program that does Penrose tilings, by Stephen Collins at http://www.stephencollins.net/Penrose/Default.aspx Windows


http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/screenshots/ Linux Mac OS X Windows

xscreensaver by Jamie Zawinski is a screesaver for unix's X-Windows. A huge collection.


fracture 7f7fb
Fracture http://www.sticksoftware.com/software/Fracture.html (2009-08) Mac OS X

Fracture, a fractal-generating screensaver, by Ben Haller.

Ben is also the author of the famous AfterDark screensaver module Satori, Rose, Lunatic Fringe. (Satori is the mesmeric color changing pattern. Rose is the dotted pattern of the math rose curve).

[see Rose Curve]



FlowFazer by David Levine. at http://www.grokware.com/Flowfazer.html Java iOS

Bulli Python


Bulli Python by Andrew Cooke.

This program generates Parquet deformations (gradual shifting of patterns). You need to be a python programer in order to install and use this program.

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