Mathematics on Pocket PCs

Russell Herman and Gabriel Lugo

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

University of North Carolina at Wilmington,


We are part of a group at UNCW who have been testing and using technology in science and mathematics classrooms for well over a decade. We have in the past several years secured internal and external support for the development of a digital library, associated with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), and for the investigation of uses of handheld and pocket PCs in the classroom.


Below are links to various sites mentioned in the talk “Mathematics on Pocket PCs”, delivered at the 2002 ICTCM in Orlando, FL, USA. Many of the descriptions were adapted from those provided at the sites. 


UNCW Links


iLumina - This is a digital library of sharable undergraduate teaching materials for science, mathematics, technology, and engineering.


Project Numina -  This project is a cooperative project in which handheld and pocket computers are being used to in college science and mathematics education.


Numina II SRS This is a Web-based student response system that uses a combination of wireless networks, handheld computers, and a data projector to allow students to submit responses to questions posed by an instructor. The instructor poses a question in a multiple-choice, true/false, yes/no, or opinion-based format and directs students to a Web site that generates a form on their computer screens through which they submit their responses.


GraphData – This utility was written as a tool for plotting and analysis of data captured from Pocket Excel. Linear, exponential, power law and inverse relations can be fitted to the data. This program can be found in the iLumina Digital Library.


Graphing Utilities


AutoGraph - Pocket AutoGraph makes it simple to quickly create graphs from the data in your Pocket Excel spreadsheets on your Pocket PC.


Gnuplot on WinCE


MRI Graphing Calculator -


Ptab - PTab is a fully functional spreadsheet for PocketPC, Handheld PC (HPC), Casio BE-300 (Cassiopeia BE300 Pocket Manager) or Palm-Size PC (PPC) with the key features of common desktop spreadsheets. You can easily create spreadsheets on your pocket organizer or use connectivity with existing Excel files.


Software with CAS Capabilities


Euclid - Euclid is an interactive mathematics visualization environment for dynamic geometry. Users can draw shapes and dynamically transform them while preserving and measuring important geometric relations. 


Formulae 1 - F1 is a powerful Computer Algebra System that can perform mathematical calculations from simple algebra to complex calculus both numerically and symbolic. 


Geometer's Sketchpad Build mathematical models by drawing with the stylus and then explore their properties dynamically by transforming their components.


MapleV for the Cassiopeia -,



Math Xpander -  Math Xpander™ is an application that resulted from investigations within laboratories at Hewlett Packard. It supports real time interactions between users and mathematical objects with a stylus in multiple representations: graphic, symbolic, and numeric.


Maxima on WinCE - (WinCE Version by General Paranoyaxc Software) ) Maxima is a Common Lisp implementation of MIT's Macsyma system for computer based algebra. [There is a free desktop version as well: )


Data Acquisition


Data Harvest DATAQ System  This system works on handhelds and pocket PCs with a variety of probes and can use many of the Vernier probes. The software is about to be upgraded.


Flash Logger The EasySense Flash card logger slips solidly into the Compact Flash expansion slot of your Pocket PC to form a completely integrated probe solution. This is also a product of Data Harvest.


Miscellaneous Packages


ChemRef Advanced - This is a chemistry reference tool with the most common information on all elements with a built-in molar mass, a solution concentration calculator, physical constants reference, and periodic trend plotting tool. 


Frequency Tuner This is a program that can measure the frequency of a sound and convert it to a note.


HASA 2.1 - HASA is a handheld audio frequency spectrum analyzer for the Pocket PC. Frequency components of sounds picked up by the built-in microphone are shown in real-time.


LaTeX on WinCE Standard LaTeX editing and viewing through a dvi-previewer is possible on handheld and pocket devices.


Pocket Hyperchem Pocket HyperChem is an integrated and flexible molecular modeling product for researchers, educators, and students, presenting molecular mechanics and semi-empirical quantum mechanics (molecular orbital) calculations in a single package.  The software is easy to use yet powerful, with capabilities for visualizing, analyzing, and modeling molecules, and for communicating information about molecular structures.


Pocket Oscillator - Pocket Oscillator is an audio signal processing tool for the Pocket PC 2002. A wide variety of audio signals can be generated and manipulated.


PPFft -  This is an ActiveX Control for custom EVB / eVC++ applications requiring basic signal processing functions!



Development Tools


Flash Math - Examples of creative uses of Macromedia Flash.


Flash Enabled - Website with informative book with tips to using Macromedia Flash.


Macromedia Flash – Player for PPC  Macromedia Flash 5.0 files can be viewed on systems with Pocket PC 2002. Further development is possible in this environment. The learning curve may be steep for some, but the end product is “flashy”.


MS Embedded Visual Tools -  This free environment coupled with appropriate SDKs (Microsoft development packages) allows users to program in embedded Visual C++ or embedded Visual Basic to create stand alone applications that run on pocket and handheld computers.

NS Basic -   October 30, 2002 -- NS Basic Corporation announced to day the immediate availability of NS Basic/CE 4.0, a development tool for all commercial Windows CE and Pocket PC devices, including those from HP, Compaq, Casio and others.

Visual Studio .NET -  This next wave of programming entail embedded programming is lending the embedded environment into that for standard PC operating systems.



OQO  -  This is marketed as the world's first ultra-personal computer.

PocketDOS -  PocketDOS is based on an IBM PC/XT emulator for Windows CE which emulates a PC with an 80186 processor, 1Mb of RAM, a CGA-compatible display and the standard support chips. PocketDOS is able to provide the same level of application compatibility as the original IBM PC/XT, while still allowing the H/PC or P/PC user access to all of the features and applications of the Windows CE operating system.