Author Topic: Lurch is cross platform software for teaching and learning mathematical proofs  (Read 1923 times)

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Lurch is powerful, FREE, cross platform software for teaching and learning mathematical proofs! It is a simple math word processor with a general-purpose math checker built in!


Software for teaching and learning mathematical proofs
Where most mathematical proof software concentrates on formal logic (or some other specialty area of mathematics), Lurch aims to be truly general-purpose, with an attracitve user interface.

Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), Mathematics

GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPLv2)

Additional Project Details:
Intended Audience
Education, Science/Research

User Interface

Programming Language
C++, JavaScript



Your word processor has spelling and grammar checkers. Your math word processor should check your math. (Not just arithmetic, but algebra, calculus, and proofs as well.)

That is what Lurch does; it is a simple math word processor with a general-purpose math checker built in. The project began in June 2008 and version 0.75 has recently been released. You can download it free for Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Lurch 0.8 Released on April 3, 2014!  (Download)  (Troubles? See our FAQ!)

Lurch now supports full mathematical typesetting of math expressions in either TeX or calculator notation. This is a major release, following version 0.7992.  See release notes here.

Mission Statement

  • Lurch should be as indistinguishable from the ordinary activities of mathematics as possible, except for the additional services it provides. That is, it should only add to your math experience, not change your math experience.
  • Lurch should provide the software infrastructure the mathematical community needs for validating rigorous mathematics. That is, it should validate mathematical content created by you — a “spell-checker” for mathematical rigor.

TeX-enabled word processoronly unicode math symbols for now, more math rendering coming
built on OpenMath for unambiguous semanticsdone and thoroughly tested
JavaScript engine for customizing validationdone and thoroughly tested
several math topics built inseveral now, more coming
users can add new math topicseasy for any mathematician to do — no programming required!

If you’re looking for a careful introduction to Lurch, look no further than the free, online introductory logic textbook forallX, now updated to include Lurch lessons throughout.

Original text

For several years, this author (Nathan Carter) has used the textbook forallX by P.D. Magnus in his introduction to logic course for honors students at Bentley University (MA305H).  It’s clear, it’s free, and it covers a lot of interesting material.  It only accounts for about two-thirds of the course, and the other third is various uses of logic.


Since Lurch became mature enough to handle the course content, I wanted a book that integrated Lurch lessons through the course, for ease of use by my students and ease of adoption by other professors.

Since Magnus’s text was free and open-source, I was permitted to take his work and adapt it to my setting.  I did so in Summer 2013, and forallX in Lurch was born.  I used the new text in my logic course in Fall 2013, and have posted it on the web under the same license as the original.

(The original text–without Lurch–is on Magnus’s website.)

What’s it good for?

This new text serves two main purposes.

  • If you’re teaching a logic course and want to use Lurch, adopting this text will save your students money and save you time integrating the software into the course, because that’s already done by the book.  Corresponding .lurch file downloads are on the book website.
  • Know math but not Lurch?  Want to learn without figuring it all out on your own?  Flip through the text, skip the math you already know, and just focus on the software lessons.  They begin at the very beginning (installing Lurch and typing text) and end at the advanced (declaring variables and using them in proofs with quantifiers).


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