A reader asks…


It is good to receive tips and articles from FlyingColoursMaths in email.  Well, I have been a learner in maths.  You seem to be very well educated in maths and have a lot of good ideas about learning or teaching basic maths.  May I ask you a few questions in maths?  I'm interested in learning about how to write equations in maths in a computer at the moment.  And I think I'd like to know about good softwares to write graphic formulas and geometrical figures, too.  Do you have any advice or suggestion about them?  Also, I have gotten iPad recently.  Is it possible to buy your book from Apple store?  Do you know about good apps for basic maths to recommend to use on iPad?

Hope to hear from you,


P.S.  btw, [Redacted] is just one of names that i'd like to use on the internet..  laughs.

I was this close to ditching this message as spam (please, if you're going to email me, at least make a token effort to sound like a human) but, well, I'm always on the lookout for material and these looked like good questions to answer.

How to write maths equations on a computer

If you're word-processing, Microsoft Word and LibreOffice both have equation editors built in. In Word, you go to Insert->Equation and have at it.

If you're using wordpress, there are at least two solutions: I use a plugin called WP Math Publisher, which is a bit clunky and slightly limited; the big boys normally use MathJAX, which is a bit harder to set up but a bit easier to use once it's up.

Edit (2014-09-21): I now use MathJax exclusively, having found a plugin that makes it easy (Simple MathJax). I've recently heard tell of the Khan Academy's KaTeX package, but haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

The really big boys use LaTeX. That's not for the faint-hearted.

Software to write graphic formulas and geometrical figures

As far as I know, there's only one game in town here, GeoGebra. I've tried it and found it to be a bit unintuitive (one day I'll sit down and learn to use it properly) but it's available on pretty much any platform you could want.

Edit (2014-09-21): I can also recommend Desmos for quick-and-dirty graphs in your browser.

Is your book available from the Apple Store, and are there good Basic Maths apps for the iPad?

I don't believe my book is at the Apple Store (but you can buy it from all other good booksellers!); as for iPad apps, I'll need to throw that open to the readers. I'm not aware of any, but I do like the sumdog website -- does that work for iPad?

Edited 2014-09-21 to fix several broken links.


Colin is a Weymouth maths tutor, author of several Maths For Dummies books and A-level maths guides. He started Flying Colours Maths in 2008. He lives with an espresso pot and nothing to prove.


2 comments on “A reader asks…

  • Adrian Beckett

    Yes, I also thought that was spam. I\’m pleased to find out about the Maths equations so I guess it was worth answering those questions after all. Thanks!

  • TeaKayB

    If your book is available on the Kindle, it\’s available on the iPad via the Kindle app (which is free).

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Where do you teach?

I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

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