# Favourite maths tools

## Writing

I’m open to the idea that pen n paper are superior to typing, for *learning*.

- But I stick everything in Roam. Nested lists, LaTeX, PDFs, images and videos, all in one doc.

### e.g.

- I am no longer sure if it’s worth learning LaTeX, but if you want to or have to, for the love of god use Overleaf. Saves hours a year on install headaches.
- Years and years in, I still sometimes encounter symbols I don’t know the name for. Detexify has saved me many hours
- MathPix is an AI maths recogniser, so you can go from e.g. handwritten notes to Latex. Very good accuracy, though the formatting often needs cleaning up.

## Computer algebra (“solve this for me”)

- WolframAlpha. Obvs! Pro is worthwhile for absolute beginners, gives you infinite stepped examples.
- Maxima. If you need something heavier and free. I see no point in Mathematica or SAGE or even Octave.
- SymPy. Satisfying but not productive. Only if you’re 10x stronger at programming than maths, as I was.
- I’m surprised there’s no product of this yet (neural net beats Mathematica on univariable integration)

## References

- I’ve probably spent more time on MathOverflow than I have in textbooks.
- Search engine for formulae. Wolfram does this a bit too.
- Catalogue of groups
- Catalogue of graphs
- Catalogue of categories
- I’ve never actually used OEIS but some people seem to get real life use out of it.
- Currently open problems ranked by importance

## Viz

- draw.io is way better than it looks. You can easily make publication-quality vector graphics. The good bits of Powerpoint.
- Loads of graphing tools at Desmos (e.g. teaching linear programming in 2 variables). Amazing to play with transformations and dumb visual optimisation of illustrative curves.
- Geogebra looks fine too
- Never used either, but for generating beautiful video with a lot of work you now have MathBox and Manim

## Challenges

- Project Euler is the second best way to learn a new programming language (once you know one deeply). Some people do way better at the computational than the analytic, and this is one bridge you can take.

## Courses

I have only ever liked and finished one MOOC (and in general I dislike learning from video).

- But people seem to love OpenCourseWare.

## See also

### Comments

**Jonas**commented on

*01 March 2022*:

I’d say that LaTex isn’t worth learning. Lyx helps a lot (WYSIWYG editor), both with editing and reading. You can do almost any basic LaTex task in Lyx, such as writing integrals and so on. If I need something fancy done (almost never), I can hack it in LaTex afterwards. (I find it much easier to use Lyx rather than markdown + MathJax too.)

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Tags: maths