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A college student writes:

I am a woman with limited sight and motor disabilities who's going to college next semester. I'm looking for computer software that will help me brush up on algebra and pre-calculus that is displayed in large fonts, and other software that allows me to type my proofs in large fonts with ease. If these products exist, where can I find them?

Susan replies:

Scientific Notebook®(from MacKichan Software) is a word/math processor, scientific graphing calculator, and reference resource all rolled into one package.

It allows the user to enter text and mathematics in the same document in a seamless easy fashion without the need to cut and paste. It is also an extremely powerful scientific graphing calculator and will compute, evaluate, or graph just about anything you ask of it and enter the results, again in the same document. Now, if you then go to the Help menu on Scientific Notebook®, you will find a Mathematics Reference Library (also Physics and Chemistry just in case you need that later), which will help you brush up on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, calculus, matrix algebra, differential equations, and vector calculus.

You can enlarge the toolbar buttons or use keyboard shortcuts. You can enlarge the screen up to 400%. If the default font isn't large enough and/or the wrong style and color, you can create your personalized article style with a font style, color, and size (up to 72) of your choosing, and then enlarge up to 400% of that. Of course, you could always add magnification software, such as ZoomText (from AI Squared), as well. For printouts of your work at the desired font size, be sure to use your personalized article style.

Many math professors provide students with their own personalized handouts in the form of study guides, reviews, and worksheets, and of course they also create test and quizzes. Perhaps you could even convince your math instructor to use Scientific Notebook®, and then all of his teacher-made materials would easily be accessible to you as well, even in their electronic version. If not, MacKichan does provide a free Scientific Viewer® on the Scientific Notebook® CD, and as a free download from their website http://www.mackichan.com/licensing.net/dnloadreq.aspx, which would allow readers to view and print your read-only electronic documents, even from the Web.

Go to http://www.mackichan.com and download a free 30-day copy of Scientific Notebook®5.0 - the latest version. Besides using Scientific Notebook®(SNB) as a word/math processor, scientific graphing calculator, and math tutor, you could also open your saved SNB documents in Duxbury's DBT WIN 10.4 and translate them to Nemeth Code should the need ever arise. If you decide this is the software for you, the cost is $99 for students ($139 for academic/government users and $210 for commercial users).