We know math is a universal need in education…and also a major source of frustration for students. In fact, 73% of parents and 77% of teachers say math is the most difficult homework subject for their students, while only 36 percent of parents say they are prepared to help their children with math homework. And a recent study found that 53% of 18-24 year olds say they can’t do math. As the country increases its focus on STEM literacy, students are looking for new, compelling ways to learn what can often be a complicated subject.

Traditionally, math has not been effectively taught and completed digitally by students for a number of reasons. One is data input difficulties, and another is the inability of math systems to capture and display the steps in solving problems. Perhaps more importantly, many students and parents are unsatisfied with math solutions available today. As teachers seek tools to help teach math in fun, engaging ways, Microsoft has developed Microsoft Mathematics 4.0. This tool can help students better understand critical subjects, like math and science, increasing STEM literacy, which, in turn, prepares the next generation for greater success.

Whether you are a student, a parent, an administrator or just a math fan, you owe it to yourself to download and try Math 4.0. Unlike previous versions of the product, Math 4.0 is now available for FREE…yet includes many enhancements from earlier editions. Math 4.0 joins other math and science-related downloads, such as the Math Add-in for Word and OneNote, and Chem for Word, as free resources for teachers, and serves as a great way to incorporate technology in the classroom.

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 features a large collection of tools, tutorials and instructions designed to help students tackle math and science problems quickly and easily. It includes a powerful math engine that works behind the scenes to calculate and solve math equations and functions, but has a friendly user interface. Algebra and geometry students benefit from fast, clear, step-by-step equation solving, while more advanced students get help in subjects such as calculus, trigonometry, physics, and chemistry.

This product is a great tool for reinforcing math concepts, especially as students are working on their homework and don’t have their math teachers readily available to answer questions. The step-by step equation solving capabilities serve as a virtual tutor. A full-featured **Graphing Calculator** with extensive graphing and equation-solving capabilities offers a wide range of additional tools including the **Formulas** **and Equations Library**, which contains a library of more than 100 common math equations and formulas that enable students to identify and easily apply the right equation necessary to solve math and science problems. Additionally, Microsoft Mathematics makes it easy to generate large 2D and enhanced 3D color graphs that fully depict an answer. Teachers and students can play with variables in the equation and instantly see the effects. An animated Trace function shows how values change at different points along the graph. It is the ultimate interactive learning tool.

As math enthusiasts celebrate the annual Pi Day, I encourage you to visit www.microsoft.com/mathematics to download the free product. We hope that today’s math students will graph, solve and convert to their hearts’ content, and find the fun, not the fear, in math.