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You will need a PDF Reader, such as Acrobat Reader. If by some chance you don't already have one installed you should get one as a lot of information on this site is in pdf format.
Word processing using mathematical symbols can be a finicky task using standard word processors. Though some tools exist and it is possible, standard word processors are not really designed for this and can make the task arduous.
Below are some comments and ideas on using mathematical symbols in documents.
Note that Microsoft Internet Explorer does not implement html 4.0 correctly (its only been out for a decade) and does not display these symbols correctly. These symbols are used freely in the course web pages I therefore recommend using a non IE browser, such as Firefox, or similar to view the web pages on this site, particularly the assignment pages.
LaTeX is the software that professional mathematicians use and is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of mathematical documents. It is free and comes standard with Linux (usually "tetex"), there are also windows versions available.
LaTeX is a "markup" language (like html), input files are written in plain text with formating commands, the file is then "compiled" to produce a finished document. There are many online resources (or Google "latex help"). There are also many books I particularly recommend Leslie Lamport's book.
However, be warned that LaTeX is a complex language and there is a very steep learning curve.