# Ti-89

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Hi,

For people who use the ti-89 what would you say the advantages and dis-advanatges are from a teachers point of view and a students point of view.

From the teachers point of view:

-One disadvantage is that the students do not get to learn the method behind the answer, so they will lack in this skill.

From the students point of view:

-Easy to use

-Less work for them

What else would you guys say?

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I have a TI-89, and I have to say that it is certainly a big advantage for me to have it.

As far as it goes calculus-wise, it's pretty good. I can use it to check my answers to some damn near awful problems, which saves me going and bothering my supervisor or tutor with a question. It also motivates me to work harder to get the right answer if I do get it wrong. The graphing program on it is also very useful for some graphs which are really hard to picture.

It doesn't really have that much of a use from a teacher's perspective as far as I can see apart from that disadvantage which you've quoted. Feel free to correct me though

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From a teacher's point of view, I'd say an 83 is quite enough. An 89 will practically DO your problems. I'd say let them have an 89 after they've demonstrated the skills.

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Yeah, that's sensible. An 89 is a bit excessive, they need to be able to do some calculus really otherwise they'll just bung the letters in the calculator.

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Allow them to use the 89 but also require them to show their work. Calculus courses should be more focused on learning how to solve problems then constantly requiring a bunch of algebra tricks.

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I've always had to show working, and I think that's the way it should always be. If you don't have a decent understanding of the mathematics behind whatever you're doing, then it's not going to stand you in good stead.

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I agree with u but now a days the uni are wanting students to use the ti-89 to investigate the behaviour of functions. Personally i feel the students should not use the ti-89 as they are not building their conceptual understanding by the theory behind the answer.

so if u were a student now, how would u say the ti-89 has benfited u ?

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Dave you hit the spot, using equations is much more effective than using a calculator......

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Knowing the theory behind solving problems is totally overrated unless you're going into a mathematics intensive field. It's way more important to know how to solve real world problems using the most advanced technology available than to focus on pointless theory and such.

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You cannot take that sort of calculatator into an exam!!!!!!!!

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If they know and can work out the fundementals on paper, and can demonstrate this accurately, then yes, let them use it

We can all do "long Division" if need be, on paper, but how much more efficient is it to use a calculator

I think the formula method of understanding is key, if they can do that then calc it is, if not, then do it the "hard way" and keep doing it until they "get it". then they too earn the right to use a calc

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..and should students also be required to learn how to fly a plane before they can travel in one, or transistor theory before being allowed to use electronics? While we're at it, we should make them learn how to build a car before they can drive one. Knowing how to use something to achieve a desired result is important, knowing the technicalities behind it is not. People who wish to pursue careers in mathematics and physics, or actually want to learn the technicalities, should be offered a separate course, but all students shouldn't be forced to learn it; only how to use it to solve real problems.

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that is such bad thinking!

should we also scrap English lang too, and let kids use SMS shorthand?

no way! as I explained, we can do long div on paper, but we use a calc (saves time primarily and less subject to error), but it is vital to know the HOW before using a shortcut, otherwise we risk being entirely dependant upon machines whos power may fail or are not subject to availability

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There's a fine line between the ability to do simple arithmetic and using convergence of infinite series to compute an indefinate integral of e^(-x^2).

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someone had to do it once upon a time! who wrote the calcs algorithm?

but thats not my point at all, Im sure the teacher Ann would not be asking this question if it didnt apply or was "unlearnable".

and so I`ll stick to my point, learning the fundementals should be the primary aim, THEN we use clacs

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fafalone, you are ignoring one important detail, people are going to school to study how something works. In particulare, they are going to school in order to study how things in their major works.

Thus, if someone is going to school to learn how to fly an airplane, they should be required to learn how to fly it. If someone is going to school for electronics, then they should learn how a transitor works. If someone is going to school to learn to ba a mechnic, then they should learn how a car works.

Similarely, if someone if going to school to learn science, then they should be required to understand how things in science work. As it happens, for most sciences, math in a intimate part. Thus, it is reasonable to require students in science to learn how math works. Furthermore, for any major that requires mathmatics, it seems reasonable that people would understand how the math works.

Your above examples are flawed, becuase in then people are not trying to study the things you have listed. They are not attempting to become professionals in these feilds. So, there is no reason why someone who is not an electrical engineer should be able to understand how a transitor works. However, if someone is a electrical engineer, they had better know how they work. Similarely, if someone is studying something that makes extensive use of mathmatics, then they should be able to understand how the math works.

A better analogy might be, you would expect an engineer to understand how the diagnostic tools that he uses work.

It is just important to have a firm understanding how the conclusions in your field are reached. OTherwise, the conclusoins might appear as if they were reached by magic, which is hopefully not the case.

Knowing how to use something to achieve a desired result is important, knowing the technicalities behind it is not

i do not wish to appear mean, but i can't belive you actually belive this. How can you fully understand a solution unless you understand how it is derived? Thus, we see that it is the process by wich the answer is arrived at that is the most informative. The answer is just that, an answer. But the reasoning that we use to arrive at the answer tells us what the answer means and why we should care about it.

People who wish to pursue careers in mathematics and physics, or actually want to learn the technicalities, should be offered a separate course,

Many schools do if fact offer several math cources. One for mathmatics and "hard" science majors and one for people that are not quite as interested in how the math works. Of course both of them still have quite a bit of theory to them. But if all you want is to learn how to type in numbers in a calculator or a computer why spend thousands of dollars a quarter for this? Buy a book. It is much cheaper.

but all students shouldn't be forced to learn it; only how to use it to solve real problems.

NO student is forced to learn anything. You choose what you wish to take from the coursre and what you do not. that is your choice. There is nothing wrong with zoning out on parts you are not interested in (i do it all teh time). However, just don't go whining when you get to a probelm later in life that you need that knowldege for (also happend to me) or don't complain if you don't get the grade you want. You have to decide if it is worth it to play the game in order to get the grade.

I guess that all i am trying to say is this. You pay the school you attend to educate you as best they can. People who have spend many years in the real world have learned that it is best to understand theory, so they teach it. But in the end, it is your choice as to whether or not you are going to take advantage of the opertunity to learn. Just don't complain later on if you were offered the oppertunity to learn something, but didn't take it. Then it is your fault. But it is the schools obligation to learn you as best they can, and this includes theory.

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But you're ignoring MY point. I already said students in things like math and physics should be required to learn it; but advanced calculus is also required for many biology, chemistry, marine science, psychology, and other students who don't need to know how to do things without a CAS.

Students are forced to learn things, it's called general education requirements. You're forced to take (and pass) courses that you have absolutely no interest in.

Who's more likely to be hired; the guy who can use a calculator to work out solutions to problems, or the theorotician who can sit there and work out every little detail but cannot grasp the real-world implications of a bunch of numbers and symbols?

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fafalone said in post #17 :

But you're ignoring MY point. I already said students in things like math and physics should be required to learn it; but advanced calculus is also required for many biology, chemistry, marine science, psychology, and other students who don't need to know how to do things without a CAS.

I can see the merits of this argument. However, I feel that people should have at least a basic understanding of what they are doing when it comes to mathematics. My reasoning for this is simply that if you try to introduce people who are trained as such to new and more complex issues mathematically speaking, then they are very likely to fail in a large fashion. With technologies advancing as fast as they do in these fields, these people need to have the latest tools available to them to ensure their job safety, and when these tools are mathematical it is essential to have at least a basic understanding of the principles behind them in order to use them to their full potential.

Whether you agree with my viewpoint or not, this is my opinion

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In fact, to go a little further, I agree somewhat with your argument. CAS's play a very useful role in the education of students and indeed in real-life applications. What I'm saying is that they shouldn't have to depend solely on the CAS's in case they need to learn something new later on in life.

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Learning basic math is entirely different from learning advanced calculus. I support learning basic math (through algebra 2), but in calculus 1 and higher non-math/physics majors should be allowed to use a CAS.

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I disagree. When you are taking math in college, you are taking it 1) to understand the principles BEHIND the math and 2) to use these principles to solve realworld (and not so realworld) problems. If you understand the principles you can use mathematics in ways you never have before..

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No, you're taking it to fullfill the general education requirements for your degree.

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fafalone said in post #20 :

Learning basic math is entirely different from learning advanced calculus. I support learning basic math (through algebra 2), but in calculus 1 and higher non-math/physics majors should be allowed to use a CAS.

I can see this is where we differ. I think that for any math that you do, you should understand the basic principles behind it, or at least have a fairly good grasp of the concepts that are involved.

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but advanced calculus is also required for many biology, chemistry, marine science, psychology, and other students who don't need to know how to do things without a CAS.

many things in biology (like growth curves, populationi fluxtuations, food uptake, ect) can be described by differential equations. A good way to ensure that people will understand DifEq is to give them a solid background in the calculas

As far as chemistry goes, i will speak from experience. Without knowledge of calculus, you will be dead in the water. Unless you want to be some lab monkey that does stuff without understanding it. Or rather i should say, in order to understand what is happening in chemistry, you should be quite familiar with differential equations again. Many of the ideas in DifEq are taught first in calc.

marine science deals with chemistry and, hence, needs DifEq again. ALso, the deal with things like concetration changes, population changes, temperature gradients, pH balances, migratory pathways, ect. All of these things require -- you guessed it DifEq.

Psycology. Ok, i don't really konw anything about this. So perhaps here is something that does not really require advanced calc. But i don't know enough to say either way.

The point being that many things in the world can be described by math. Apparently espicailly differential equations. (perhaps math should be required up to and through differential equations then, really). Thus, if one is to ever hope to have more than just a rudementary understanding of what is going on in the world (and hence, their feild) they should have a good understanding of how math works. Without an understanding of math, you are left with just a fuzzy sort of understanding of how things work. You might be able to make quantitative statements, but you will never understand why you can make them. This understanding if curcial. Your educators understand this and that is why the require math as a general education requirement.

Whether you like it or not, math is going to be pretty much everywhere. Having more knowledge of something so prevelant can only be benificial.

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You have failed to point out the advantage of knowing how to waste hours working of dif.eqs over knowing how to use a CAS to solve the problem in a few seconds.

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