You are here



Commonly Used Software

The following software is used in many of our courses:


Most of our calculus courses use Winplot, a free graphing calculator application for Windows. You can download it from the Winplot website. Macintosh users, see the note below.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is pre-installed on all Bentley laptops and shows up in many of our mathematics courses.  Students in the business calculus courses (MA 123 and MA 126) will be assigned computer projects using Excel, and many electives use it as well (e.g., MA 242, MA 267, MA 402, etc.).


Our multi-variable calculus course (MA 233) uses CalcPlot3D, a free Java applet for graphing three-dimensional curves, surfaces, vectors, and other objects. It is also occasionally used in the Mathematics of Computer Graphics (MA 307).


MATLAB is a commercial application available through the Bentley Virtual Lab, meaning that it is accessible from any PC on campus after you install the Virtual Lab setup tool. It is used in a wide variety of courses, from multi-variable calculus through many of our electives.


Minitab is a commercial statistics package available through the Bentley Virtual Lab. It is used in several of our statistics courses, including GB 213 and ST 242.

R and RStudio

R is a programming language with many mathematical capabilities built in. Several of our courses (especially at the graduate level, but several undergraduate electives as well) use R through an interface called RStudio, available for both Macs and PCs.


Bentley has a SAS liscence that allows current students to run SAS from on-campus PCs, install SAS on Bentley-provided laptops, or install SAS on a non-Bentley laptop or home PC. For installation details, please read our SAS access and installation guide

The SAS learning resources we offer include:

  • Certificate exams for SAS Certified Base Programmer and SAS Certified Advanced Programmer. Current students can enjoy a 50 percent off discount on the exam registration fee. 
  • As a part of our SAS site license, Bentley students can access to a SAS e-learning class.
  • Basic and advanced exam preparation material, books, ebooks and more in the Bentley Library. 

For more information, please read our SAS learning and exam information guide.


Course-Specific Software

The following software is specific to the courses for which it is mentioned.

Chaos, Fractals and Dynamics (MA 205)

This course uses two pieces of software for generating and exploring fractals, including Winfeed and IFSKit. Both are free programs for Windows. Macintosh users, see the note at the bottom of this page.

Numerical Methods (MA 261)

This course uses the free computer algebra system Maxima.

Mathematical Logic (MA 305H)

Students use the software Lurch, a word processor that can check the steps of the mathematical proofs that they write, and provide feedback as they work.

Mathematics of Computer Graphics (MA307)

Several pieces of software are used in this course, most importantly POV-Ray for generating still images and VirtualDub for assembling still frames into movies on Windows. Macintosh users see the note below for running POV-Ray, and use Time-Lapse Assembler for building movies from still frames.  Windows Movie Maker (pre-installed on Bentley Windows laptops) and iMovie (pre-installed on all Apple laptops) will also be used.

Macintosh Users

Macintosh users can run Windows applications in a virtual machine (using VirtualBox, Parallels, or VMWare) and can run many applications natively through Wine. While Parallels and VMWare are commercial applications, VirtualBox and Wine are free.