## what is the best calculator?

Where I come from; mathematics is all symbolic, no calculators; physics has some calculation involved, we are allowed a TI-30X, after, we can use whatever with some exceptions (like no calculators on tests). I'm not sure about engineering, I know in first year they use TI-30X's too, but I'm not sure of any year after.

 Quote by jhae2.718 It depends on the school, I think. Where I am, the math and physics departments don't allow calculators of any kind (physics exams are symbolic, math exams have contrived numbers such that calculations are easy), the chemistry department only allows scientific calculators, and the engineering department allows all calculators.
If you have a graphing calculator for a calculus test, what is the point? You can program everything you want...

 Recognitions: Gold Member While it can be fun to debate the features of $100 tools, with NO insight as to the policies of the school the OP intends to attend, there is an elephant in the room. @OP, contact the Engineering School as ask what their policies are on the use of calculators. Per course, per test, etc... Don't throw money away buying the newest and best. When you get admitted in another year or so, you'll find out what the most current policy is. You may find out that you need to keep your TI-84 for homework only, and that you'll have to buy a more basic scientific calculator to use on class-work, quizzes, exams. When I was admitted to UMO engineering school, NO calculators were allowed, and if students turned in homework or lab reports with levels of accuracy that were considered unachievable with a decent slide-rule, you would be invited to an interview at the dean's office. Back then a simple 4-function calculator cost as much as 1/2 a semester's tuition, and the college felt that it would be a serious handicap for poorer students. I left college and worked for a couple of years after my Junior year, and when I returned to take more courses, lo-and-behold, you were allowed to use calculators in class and on tests. Things change. Get the appropriate, approved tools and learn how to use them before you take your first class.  Blog Entries: 9 Recognitions: Gold Member I need to get a slide rule. @dacruik: Exactly. It's also more fun without a calculator. Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by jhae2.718 I need to get a slide rule. @dacruik: Exactly. It's also more fun without a calculator. Slide rules were pretty pricey back when I was in school. I'd love to have my old K+E back if only for nostalgia. It wasn't one of the top-tier models, but it was good enough for engineering school, with all kinds of scales that saw only rare use. Still, once you get used to using one, it's hard to let them go. I had to sell mine just to try to recover some cost out of it, just like my texts. When I went back to college for another semester of tech courses, I bought an early HP calculator (RPN of course) and got even faster than I had been with the slip-stick. The same old feeling wasn't there, though. I'd turn in exams in minutes and ace them (surveying and other civil-tech courses) and leave while the rest of the class were slaving away. The trick was learning the ins and outs of that calculator BEFORE having to use it under pressure. Actually, I'd like to have that HP-21 back almost as much as my K+E.  Blog Entries: 9 Recognitions: Gold Member We have it good nowadays, with graphing calculators, Matlab/Maple/Mathematica/etc... It's sad that almost none of the other students in my classes knew what a slide rule was.  None of my professors have let us use ANY calculator on any math tests (so far calc I-III). For chemistry and physics, a TI-84 is more than fine. I have a TI-89 Plus SE though ($50 from eBay) that is nice just as a time saver.
 calculators of casio company are brilliant.
 Ti-83 equipped with slide rule and tables. You shall SO pass.
 I absolutely love my ti-89. I love it more than my girlfriend. No, I am not joking. My love for TI-89 is just below bacon, and right above football on the love scale.

Mentor
 Quote by jhae2.718 I need to get a slide rule.
I still have three or four of them. I think that one of these is one I bought for a physics class I took at the first college I went to. That was quite a few years before calculators came onto the scene.

 If you start learning calculus I would advise that you do not use calculators for graphing, integration, or differentiation. You should really learn to graph them, do the integrals and derivatives by hand. You may ask, whats the point if a computer can do it for me? If you learn to do everything by hand then you will gain a deeper intuition for how functions behave. This will give you deeper insight into the mathematics.
 I use TI-86 although I remember that in highschool they had limits to which calculator you could use in tests. If I remember correctly it was TI-83 plus. Anything beyond TI-86 and you might as well use a linux app, good to get familiar with.

 Quote by Jack21222 The problem is, I don't know if they're allowed on standardized tests, and some classes disallow them.
That might be step 1, to find out which ones are allowed. Then I'd try them all at Office Max/Depot, Best Buy, Walmart, or wherever you can find them.

Also, what's your major? Just saying "calculus" includes many fields of study, some of which have different requirements than others.

 In my opinion, the TI-89 is the best calculator ever made. Very much worth the price, and it can do anything you will ever need to do in terms of math. A wise choice.
 I find that the TI-89 is the most powerful "TI" out there, but I may be wrong. It is a bit hard to use at first, though. And it is also allowed on the SAT.
 I have the Ti-NSPIRE, very expensive, has a colour visual screen with a touch pad. Will do absolutely everything and anything you tell it to do. Its just whether or not you can justify spending that amount on a calculator. When you look at it, its only 30 or 40 quid more than your standard ti-86. So, if you want the latest, thats never going to go out of date in like 40 years get the NSPIRE. It can be plugged into the computer and downloaded too other softare etc. Very hand. But for me anyway, in my second year og mechancial engineering, IT WAS NOT WORTH THE MONEy. because you do not need to graph functions etc, you just need to work with them. i think this would be brilliant however for students studying maths at a level, or degree.