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Need help choosing best Scientific Calculator

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The TI-89 Titanium is still a "best in its class" and probably the most capable calculator you will be able to bring in to SATs or in many cases for tests also. It is a bit cumberson to use and the user manual is the epitome of user manuals everywhere (it sucks big time) but its capabilities are great. If you want to improve on any in the library of the many built-in functions, you can write your own.

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Don't buy the Ti-89, it'll take you at least a week to figure out the calculator. You'll actually have to read the manual.... a lot

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It all depends on what the instructor lets you use. I'm only in high school and so am not into anything beyond AP Calculus and Statistics but I know we are only allowed to use a 84 or 83. I personal use a TI-84 Silver and like it. But I would suggest you use the same calculator for homework as on the exams. I know our teacher made use you the class set of 83 and I was not happy. It took me twice as long because some amazing person deleted the programs I needed and the piece wouldn't graph more than one equation at a time.

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Don't buy the Ti-89, it'll take you at least a week to figure out the calculator. You'll actually have to read the manual.... a lot

Oh really? I was using it efficiently from day one. It's really not that hard.

 

I have a TI-89 Titanium and a TI-84 Silver, the latter only because I was not permitted to use it in Pre-Calculus class several years ago. if permitted, as many have said, 89T is the best of its class, and that calculator has gotten me through so many AP and SAT tests you wouldn't imagine.

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The person asked what is the best Scientific calculator, and not the best graphing calculator. All of you that said to go get a Ti-89 are idiots. First of all there is nothing this calculator will do that an $8 calculator will not do in HIS classes. Second he would NOT be ALLOWED to use it, my past 7 math teachers have all banned symbolic calculators from their exams (half of them will not even let us use ANY graphing calcs). Third there are no quick routes to learning math, either take the time to learn all the rules with an $8 calculator or you will not know why you are having trouble dividing by zero with your $500 super-computer talking calculator.

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graphing calculators are used in scientific contexts all the time. i use one. and you are allowed to use them. they just have to be checked for stored information upon entering an exam. they are extremely useful tools.

 

and you couldn't use one if you didn't know mathematical rules.

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Although math programs such as MathLab and Mathmatica are very useful having to use a lab top and such a program would be highly inefficient when doing test or quizzes. Also because of the ability to store information so easily it would make cheating incredible easy.

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Well, I hate people doing this but it's well known trick:

1) go to the shop

2) buy the most expensive calculator

3) do an exam

4) complain and return your calculator to the shop

 

Pq

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Instead of using a computer program on a laptop, why not use a phone browser? It's small and then you can hit a free online scientific calculator like http://www.ecalc.com
The calculator on my phone can do that. Anyway, I somehow imagine that taking my phone into an exam hall wouldn't go down well.

 

I use a Casio fx-83ES which is the same calculator that practically everyone in the UK uses.

 

It says on the packaging that it's recommended for GCSE and A-Level which means that well meaning parents get it for their 11 year olds who get confused when they accidentally put it into stats or table mode and can't get it out.

 

It doesn't do symbolic algebra or graphics, which is why it is allowed in high-school exams, but it does have a good multi line display. I've never needed anything more complicated, except for occasions that justified getting out my laptop.

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I swore by graphical calcs all through high school and college (graphing is a great method for checking if answers are reasonable.)

 

Unfortunately at uni they only allow 3 calculators (none graphical), but the best of these is definately;

 

Casio FX 991 ES.

 

Can do matrices, complex arithmetic, numerical integration and solve sim eq. and quadratics.... These functions are a great help if you are one of those people (like me) who in exams throw away 20% of their marks from doing a "2+2=5"....

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Sounds snazzy, apparently I'm only permitted an 83 or 85. I guess that shows it's always a good idea to be aware of the policies.

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Another good idea is to read through the manual thoroughly to work out what your chosen calculator is actually do and practice how to do it.

 

Boring, and sounds obvious, but the number of times I've browsed a calculators functions weeks after the exam only to realise, "Damn! I didn't realise my calculator could do that automatically.."

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I swore by graphical calcs all through high school and college (graphing is a great method for checking if answers are reasonable.)

 

Unfortunately at uni they only allow 3 calculators (none graphical), but the best of these is definately;

 

Casio FX 991 ES.

 

Can do matrices, complex arithmetic, numerical integration and solve sim eq. and quadratics.... These functions are a great help if you are one of those people (like me) who in exams throw away 20% of their marks from doing a "2+2=5"....

 

 

^-----Yes. You should check with your university (couse syllabus if you have access) before you purchase a calculator. Once you find out which types you can't use (more often than not you can only use what they tell you). (i recommend Casio991 for physics; usually you don't get to use calculators on math tests)

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Thanks for all this - I am starting an OU (in the UK) course revisiting maths after 30 years and never owned a calculator then - just a slide rule that was about (in real terms) 30 times the cost of the Ti89! and I was completely confused as to what to buy

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I love my Casio Calc that have the Natural-View, it shows equations like if they're written in the Notebook,

 

standard Calc shows: [imath]c = a/b[/imath]

 

natural-view Calc shows: [imath]c = \frac{a}{b}[/imath]

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are there restrictions in calculators in colleges? i think there should be limitations for students to not be really dependent on calculators and learn the concepts of formulas.

 

thanks for this forum. i've been getting a lot of information from here. very nice.

 

Alton A. Clark

 

Licensed clinical social worker

 

http://www.integrationcalculator.com/

 

 

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are there restrictions in calculators in colleges? i think there should be limitations for students to not be really dependent on calculators and learn the concepts of formulas.

 

Alton A. Clark

 

Licensed clinical social worker

 

 

I was always perfectly willing to let students do 2 x 3 on their calculators. It did not seem to give them much advantage over the students who could do it in their heads.

 

I personally favor HP calculators and RPN notation. Mine is an HP 48, and if I were buying one now I would probably opt for the HP 58. But any good calculator should suffice if you learn to use it.

 

Once upon a time back in the near dark ages (1970 or so) a young physics prof bought an HP 35 calculator for about $400 (that is 1970 $). He figured that he could then sell his Pickett slide rule to some lesser light, someone perhaps not quite such a star clearly representing the future of physics. So he put a for sale notice on the departmental bulletin board. Along came a much older fellow who figured he might be able to get by with the rather nice Pickett slide rule, so he bought it. That older gentleman, that "lesser light", was Eugene wigner.

Edited by DrRocket

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Check what your college allows in exams, many have restrictions on features or allowable models.

Out of the models that my university allowed, I was quite enamored of the Ti-34.

 

or you could do it the hardcore way with a pencil and paper. i passed an exam that way. damn batteries. a TI-83+ should be able to do everything you need. mine does.

then again i'm not in a pure maths course or anything i only need to know some engineering maths.

Puts me in mind of my second year SR exam. I'd left my bag/calculator in another building but still had time to go and get it if I ran.

I asked my lecturer (who knew me quite well and had taught me before):

"Do I need a calculator for this exam?"

He responded:

"Do you need a calculator for this exam.....hm....no."

 

Turns out, he knew that I knew an algorithm for calculating square roots and how to calculate trig functions for arbitrary angles by hand :/

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