Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please send an email to fathom@concord.org.

Licenses & Purchasing

Technical Details

Using Fathom

Licenses & Purchasing

Can I buy licenses by purchase order or wire transfer?

Yes. When making your purchase, select “Purchase Order” or “Wire Transfer” as the payment type on the online order form. You will be given an invoice containing payment instructions for your order. Once we receive payment, the order will be approved and you will be sent your license keys.

Note that you will be paying our online store provider, FastSpring (a subsidiary of Bright Market), directly. They will then pass the payment on to us.

Why won’t my existing license work with the new Fathom?
If you purchased a Fathom license before May 2015, you would have purchased it from Key Curriculum, part of McGraw-Hill Education (MHE). They ceased publication of Fathom at the end of 2013. They have transferred ownership of Fathom to William Finzer who is now making it available through the Concord Consortium. Unfortunately, Key Curriculum did not transfer customer information or any ability to work with pre-existing licenses.
When entering my license, what should I enter for “License Name”?
You may be trying to activate an older version of the software which won’t work with a new license code. (The latest version doesn’t ask for a license name, just the authorization code.) Please download the installation software to get the latest version and enter your license information into that version.
What should I do if I see a message saying “Error contacting license server” when entering my license?

Fathom needs to be able to communicate with our licensing server over the web using HTTPS. Please make sure your computer has a working internet connection before entering your license information.

If the network your computer is on has a web filter, you may need to get our licensing server website whitelisted before Fathom can successfully communicate with it. The licensing server website is at quicklicensemanager.com. Please ask your network administrator to whitelist the domain.

There may be other issues preventing Fathom from communicating with the licensing server such as a proxy server on your network. Please ask your network administrator if they are aware of anything that might be preventing Fathom from directly communicating with the licensing server. If possible, you can also try activating your license while the computer is on a different network. If you can activate the software on another network, it will still be activated when the computer is reconnected to the original network (on which it couldn’t be activated).

Are site licenses available?
Sorry, no. The volume licensing options are the only currently available choices for purchasing Fathom licenses.
Will I be able to have a copy of Fathom on my laptop as well as my desktop?
Sorry, no. Licenses are good for one computer only. If you want Fathom on two computers, we suggest you purchase a one-year expiring license for the computer most likely to be changed after one year. It’s only a few dollars more.
Can I get Fathom on CD?
We do not offer Fathom on CD. Downloading is currently the only option for getting the software. If enough people express interest in getting Fathom on CD, we will reconsider.
Where is the email containing my authorization code?
Overzealous spam filters may incorrectly identify the email containing your authorization code as spam and place it in your spam/junk folder. Please check your spam/junk folder. You may find the email message there. If you still can’t find the email, please contact us.
What is included with expiring and non-expiring licenses?
Both licenses entitle the customer to all new versions of Fathom for the duration of the license. Specifically each includes the following:

  1. A non-expiring license includes all future updates for the version purchased and all future version upgrades.
  2. A one-year license includes updates for the version purchased and any upgrades released during the year that the license is active.
Can I transfer my license to a new computer?
Non-expiring licenses can be transferred to a new computer. You will first need to un-register the license from your old computer. To do so, Windows users can open Fathom, go to Help > License Information, and then click the “Un-register” button. Mac users will need to contact Fathom Support to un-register their license. Once your license has been un-registered, you may use your existing license code to activate Fathom on your new computer.

One-year licenses cannot be released and therefore cannot be transferred to a new computer.

Technical Details

What is required to run Fathom?

Fathom will run on Windows XP, 7 and 8*, and on macOS 10.6** or above.

* Users of Windows RT 8 will not be able to install Fathom as that version of Windows 8 requires software to be downloaded from the Windows Store. Fathom is not available in the Windows Store.

** Some users running version 10.6.8 and 10.12 of macOS have not been able to activate Fathom. If you encounter this issue, please send an email to support.

Windows users will need to have Microsoft’s .Net Framework installed. Fathom requires .Net Framework 2.0 or above. It can be downloaded for free from Microsoft.

Fathom will not currently function properly on Windows Vista.

Does Fathom work on an iPad, Chromebook or Android tablet?
Sorry, Fathom will not work on these devices. We are currently in the research and development phase of Web-based tools with similar functionality, but these have not yet progressed to the full-featured point Fathom has.
Can Fathom be installed on an image?
Yes, Fathom can be installed on an image. If you do experience problems related to imaging, please contact us.
Are there any known conflicts between Fathom and other software applications?
We’ve had reports that SMART Notebook conflicts with Fathom, we don’t yet have a solution, but please contact us if you have this issue.

Using Fathom

Can I enter my own data into Fathom?
Yes. In Fathom, users can type into a case table or add multiple cases through a menu item.
Does Fathom come with tutorials?
Yes. You can access tutorials through Fathom’s Help menu, or in the Resources section of this site.
Does Fathom come with data sets?
Yes, Fathom includes more than 300 data sets from a wide variety of areas—education, science, the social sciences, and sports, to name a few. Fathom provides seamless access to current and historical U.S. census microdata (data about individual people and households). There are also more data sets and links to good data websites in the More Data Sets section of this site.
Will Fathom help students pass the AP® Statistics Exam?
Yes. Fathom’s simple yet powerful simulation promotes students’ conceptual understanding of statistics. Results of linear regression, confidence interval estimates, and statistical tests are embedded in text that explains what those results mean. (This “verbose” mode can be turned off to give students practice in reading and interpreting a more standard computer output, as required by the AP Statistics Course Description.)
Will there be a way to utilize Fathom Surveys in the new Fathom?
We did not reconstitute the survey capability. If we receive enough requests to do so, we may reconsider. (Please send an email to fathom@concord.org if you’d like to request this feature.)
When using “Sample Cases,” what mechanism does Fathom use to choose the sample from the main collection?
Fathom chooses cases randomly from the collection. It uses either “with replacement” or “without replacement” depending on the setting in the Sample pane of the sample collection’s inspector. “With replacement” is the default.
How can you change what is plotted on the x and y axes of graphs?
You can drag the attribute (click and drag on the name) from one axis to the other and that will change it. For more detailed information, choose “Fathom Help” under the main Help menu and search for “axis.” Also in the Help menu, try “Fathom Movies” and go to the “Working with Graphs” section.
Why can’t I open Help or Sample Documents from Fathom?
Some installations of Fathom on computers running newer versions of macOS have trouble accessing the Help or Sample Documents. Users experiencing this issue can access the full Help contents at fathom.concord.org/help. To access Sample Documents, affected users will have to select File > Open in Fathom, and navigate to the Fathom application’s Sample Documents folder. The Sample Documents folder is usually located at /Applications/Fathom 2.4/Sample Documents.