Math 21b - Mathematica

Course head: Janet Chen
Course preceptor: Yu-Wen Hsu (

Throughout the semester, you will be asked to experiment with the software package Mathematica.

Installing Mathematica on your computer

If you would like to install Mathematica on your computer, here's what you should do (these instructions are from Harvard Software Downloads):
  1. Create a Wolfram ID by clicking here. You must use your Harvard email address. An email with a link to validate your Wolfram ID will be sent to the address you provide.
  2. After creating and validating your Wolfram ID, sign in to the Wolfram User Portal and complete the Wolfram Activation Key Request Form. When selecting a product on the form, choose a version of "Mathematica for sites (single machine)." Click Submit. An activation key will be generated and emailed to you. Click the link for "Product Summary page". Click "Get Downloads" and select "Download" next to the appropriate platform. Follow the installation instructions and enter the activation key when prompted.

If you prefer not to install Mathematica yourself, it is available on computers in many computer labs on campus.


The following applets will help you visualize linear transformations. Please click the Enable Dynamics button in Mathematica before running the applets.

Useful commands

Here we'll keep a running list of the Mathematica commands introduced on the problem sets so far.