I often have a set of equations that I need to algebraically solve for certain values. These equations are not always linear but usually, an analytic solution exists.

However, I've never used an automatic equation solver before. I've used mathematica, and a tiny bit of matlab, but only for other purposes, and I'm not very skilled with them.

My question is, what program should I pick to solve these equations for me analytically (that is, not numerically), given that I

  1. Mainly need to solve equations algebraically for closed form solutions, but
  2. Would like to have the option of solving more complex problems later like systems of differential equations.
  3. Would like to later maybe have the option of using numerical methods as well.
  4. use windows 10.
  5. don't have money to spend, but have student discounts and can get lots of software free from my university.
  • Have you tried Wolfram Alpha? It’s in the web and free.
    – Eric S
    Dec 12, 2017 at 0:02
  • if you are on a mac there are many small apps to do some specific tasks like differention equations and integration.
    – Natsfan
    Dec 12, 2017 at 18:40

2 Answers 2


Maxima is a computer algebra system that has features for elementary algebra, differential equations, and numerical root-finding. It has a Windows port and is gratis.


Probably overkill for what you want but there is Sage Math which also runs on the internet. It used to be free but haven't checked lately. Does simple plus advanced mathematics.

Octave is an open source app built to be like Matlab - only free. It has some capacity for symbolically solving equations.

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