Typically students in math classes need a graphing calculator, protractor, spreadsheet program and a program that can apply statistical tests, such as Excel. Tools for mathematics depend on what level or class being taught.
In classes or projects involving algebra and functions, students need a tool capable of the Computer Algebra System for symbols, equations, inequalities, decimals, graphs and more. They may also need a tool for spreadsheets to be able to compute and store data to integrate into graphs and tables. While some of these functions are within the range of a graphing calculator, a spreadsheet program makes it easier to manipulate the data.
In geometry or trigonometry classes, it is useful to have an interactive geometry tool that lets students form shapes and manipulate them according to different algorithms. Drawing certain shapes by hand is useful in less specific situations, tools that allow students to hand draw, including a protractor, compass, ruler and 30-60-90 degree triangle, are also useful.
Classes or projects that require statistics and probability testing may require a data analysis tool. This tool is similar to the CAS, but can calculate more elaborate statistical tests. Programs similar to Microsoft Excel usually can manipulate this data within a school setting. In addition, a simulation tool can predict situational outcomes when given parameters from the simple to the very complex.