**Maxima** is a symbolic computation platform that is free, open source, runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, and covers a wide range of mathematical functions, including 2-D/3-D plotting and animation. Capabiities include algebraic simplification, polynomials, methods from calculus, matrix equations, differential equations, number theory, combinatorics, hypergeometric functions, tensors, gravitational physics, PDEs, nonlinear systems. With an active developer base and responsive community, a user gets a secure future lifecycle of the product and plenty of help when dealing with problems. The result: an essential mathematical computing package for students, programmers, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. This article will help you get started with Maxima.