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Homework Help: Best calculator for calculus?

  1. Jan 20, 2008 #1
    Read this with your humor in tact, as it's a light hearted question that I would like to have analyzed by the masses that frequent this board. I appreciate all input.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I've been calculator shopping and the packages fail to list important details on frequent occasions. I want a non-graphing, scientific calculator that I'm most likely allowed to use on my tests with the following abilities:
    • Answer in fractional or decimal form
    • Trigonometric identities in both degree and radian form
    • Solve for unknown variables algebraically
    • Compute derivatives and antiderivatives, both definitly and indefinitely.
    • Password protected as a theft deterrent
    • USB or similar connection for updates, hacking, etc...
    • Mp3 player, digital camera, cell phone, flash drive, and GPS navigator functionality...while I'm dreaming.

    2. Relevant equations

    Currently using the TI-30Xiis I bought back in middle school and my love, the TI-89 Titanium. MATLAB, if that counts...but I can't very well carry it around with me. Think my professors would allow me to use a calculator I craft myself? haha, no. I asked.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Casio FX-115w - which disappoints me

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2008 #2
    I don't think you're going to find a non-graphing calculator that does much of that.
  4. Jan 20, 2008 #3
    Only time you should consider a new calculator is when you get into Calculus 3. Till then, use your head.
  5. Jan 20, 2008 #4
    I have my head, I want to shorten the time it takes to compute fractions, double check my derivatives and antiderivatives, and speed up my test taking in general.

    Is there a good chart for comparing calculator functionality, both graphing and non graphing or both?
  6. Jan 20, 2008 #5
    Have you ever used the TI-89 to compute an Integral? You'd be surprised how different your answers will compare, pretty useless if you just want to compute derivatives and integrals.
  7. Jan 20, 2008 #6
    Yes I have. It's most useful for definite integration but the indefinite integration usually matches perfectly with my answer unless there are trig. identities present...then again I rarely compute, much less compare, such things.

    I recently installed ME Pro, TiReader, and a few helpful programs for Chemistry (The periodic table is awesome! Normal stuff plus the radius, e-negativity, density, boiling/melting point, standard state...wish I had it before I finished my Chem courses!)

    Any little known programs worth mentioning? I'd love to have the step-by-step derivative/integral solver, but not enough to shell out $20+ bucks for it (or the $150 that ti89.com charges...) I'm interested in anything engineering, statistical, or economic related.
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