Install Mathematica (12.1)

Where to find this software at Wellesley

Mathematica may be installed on student, faculty, and staff computers that are connected to the Wellesley College network. It is also available on classroom and computing lab computers. This application is controlled by a license manager and cannot be used without a connection to the Wellesley College Network.

System Requirements

System Requirements

October 2019: with the release of macOS Catalina, Mathematica v12 or higher is required

Uninstalling older versions of Mathematica

The Mathematica installation will not overwrite older versions of Mathematica. Before installing Mathematica we recommend manually removing older versions from your computer following these instructions.

  • On a Mac:
    • Open Macintosh HD > Applications
    • Drag Mathematica to the trash
  • On a Windows PC:
    • Use the standard control panel for Programs to uninstall Mathematica

Install Mathematica

  1. Make sure your computer is on the Wellesley network:
    use VPN if off campus, Wellesley Secure if on campus with Wi-Fi
  2. Copy the appropriate installer to your computer's desktop:
    1. Connect to the academicstore server using your Wellesley username and password
      (you may need to enter wellesley\username instead of just your username)
      • on a Mac, in the Finder's Go menu, Connect to server, smb://academicstore/software
        (Got an error? try instead of just academicstore)
      • on a Windows PC: use windows menu icon Start or Run, then type \\academicstore\software
        (Got an error? try instead of just academicstore)
    2. Open the folder containing the installer: facstaffstudents, then Mathematica, then the version (12.1)
      It may take a moment for the folders to appear
    3. (TIPS if you have trouble accessing the installer)
    4. If you will be using Joy of Mathematica, copy the Joy of Mathematica folder from the Mathematica folder on academicstore to your computer's Documents
    5. Drag the Mac or Windows installer folder to your computer's desktop
    6. Watch the progress of the copy, which will take longer on some computers, as that installer is large
  3. When the copies are complete, locate the Mathematica installer on your computer's desktop and run it
    1. In the Mac folder, double-click on the DMG file
    2. In the Windows folder, open the Mathematica folder and double-click on the setup.exe file
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen:
  • Mac:
    • Drag the Mathematica icon to the Applications folder icon and drop it there.
    • This may take several minutes, even half an hour. You can track the progress by watching the progress bar.
    • If desired, you may double-click the Extras icon to install the Mathematica Browser and Spotlight Plugins
  • Windows:
    • If prompted with a security warning, click Run (or whatever it's asking for to continue the installation)
    • If asked whether you want the program to make changes to your computer, click Yes (or whatever it's asking for to continue the installation)
    • Click through the default settings (unless you see something you know you want to change)
    • Please be patient while your software is being installed. This could take up to 10 minutes
    • When installation is complete, click Finish (or whatever it's asking for to complete the installation)
  1. Mathematica may launch as soon as the installation is complete, in which case please see the next section for Activation instructions
  2. Once complete, close all open windows

Getting Started

The first time you launch Mathematica

  1. Launch Mathematica as you would any other program on your computer
  2. On a Mac, you may be asked to install a Spotlight Plug-in; follow the prompts on the screen to install or cancel this installation.
  3. Activation key prompt:
    If you did not have an earlier version of Mathematica on your computer you will be asked to enter licensing information now.
    • In the window that appears, click Other ways to activate, then on the Network License button.
    • In the Enter the name of a server running a Mathematica license manager field, type (or copy this and paste it):

  • Click Activate or OK and Mathematica will launch.
  • If prompted, you will need to accept the terms and click OK

Note: If you receive an error that the license manager could not be contacted:

  • quit out of Mathematica, launch Mathematica and try again
  • make sure your computer is on the Wellesley Secure WiFi and not Wellesley Guest, or that you are on the VPN if off campus

Remember that only a certain number of computers can use Mathematica at one time. Please quit Mathematica when it is not in use so that others may use it.

Joy of Mathematica

Joy of Mathematica is an interface that can make learning Mathematica easier. If you would like to see if it will work on your computer, please proceed.

You'll need the notebook file in the Mathematic folder described in step 3 of the Install instructions, above.

Opening the Joy of Mathematica.nb file automatically runs Mathematica.

Alternatively, you can first run Mathematica, then open the Joy of Mathematica.nb using the File > Open dialog box.