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Calculators What is the best calculator?

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  1. Mar 28, 2011 #1
    I am currently a junior in high school. I have a TI-84 plus silver edition. My parents are letting me give my old calculator, the TI-84, to my sister and let me buy a new calculator. What would be the best calculator to get? I am planning to be an engineer and need a calculator that is approved on standardized tests.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2011 #2

    ideasrule

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    Homework Helper

    Re: Best Calculator?

    What do you need it for? Many tests allow only scientific calculators, not graphing ones. However, if you're planning to take calculus or statistics, you definitely need a graphing calculator. I'd say the TI-83 and TI-84 are both good because they're the most common. You definitely don't want a calculator that nobody else has, or else you'll spent all of class trying to figure it out like I did last year.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2011 #3
    Re: Best Calculator?

    I'm planning to take calculus throughout high school and college. Which one did you have, TI-89?
     
  5. Mar 28, 2011 #4
    Re: Best Calculator?

    I'm really a big fan of the under $10 solar-cell type (with trig functions). Buy a few of these, and keep them in various places around the house, in the office, etc. Of course, I'm the type to misplace such things as keys, cellphones, etc. (and drop expensive cellphones). I do still have my TI-something high-school/college calculator somewhere in my office, but it has a solvent "burn hole" from organic chem.

    I know at least one person online here who will likely point you to a slide rule.
     
  6. Mar 28, 2011 #5
    Re: Best Calculator?

    I'm a huge fan of the TI-89 for the classes that will let you use them. In general physics 1, the "solve" function on the calculator saved me from having to do the quadratic equation by hand many times, and it's a breeze to solve systems of linear equations in their matrix, and then use the rref function (reduced row echelon form).
     
  7. Mar 28, 2011 #6
    Re: Best Calculator?

    Was it difficult to use?
     
  8. Mar 28, 2011 #7
    Re: Best Calculator?

    No, it's quite easy. The problem is, I don't know if they're allowed on standardized tests, and some classes disallow them. My first physics professor was an electrical engineer, and he said he used the TI-89 all the time in his engineering work.
     
  9. Mar 28, 2011 #8

    ideasrule

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    Re: Best Calculator?

    I had a TI-86, and its interface is very different from that of the TI-83.
     
  10. Mar 28, 2011 #9
    Re: Best Calculator?

    I'm thinking about getting the TI-Inspire? Does anyone have it or used it before.
     
  11. Mar 28, 2011 #10

    jtbell

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    Re: Best Calculator?

    Please note there are a lot of threads about calculators in the Computing & Technology forum, where this thread has been moved.
     
  12. Apr 6, 2011 #11
    Re: Best Calculator?

    Try this **powerful** virtual calculator online:

    http://www.vroomlab.com/nhome

    on 1st page, click on the calculator image to get access without login in.

    it works with computer, ipad, smartphomes.
     
  13. Apr 6, 2011 #12
    Re: Best Calculator?

    I say get yourself a CASIO scientific calculator. You can use it on all the tests you need to. Graphing calculators are sweet, but in university calculus we weren't allowed to use calculators at all. but yeah, I love the CASIO.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2011 #13
    Re: Best Calculator?

    Basic scientific calculator? That would not help me that much.
     
  15. Apr 6, 2011 #14

    turbo

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    Re: Best Calculator?

    Do you have a strong preference for where you will attend Uni, and for what courses you want? If so, contact the engineering school and ask for their guidelines, so you'll know what calculators are allowable for tests. Your current TI-84 might be the most advanced calculator allowed, so you wouldn't benefit from an upgrade unless the school loosened their rules. You have plenty of time... Good luck!
     
  16. Apr 6, 2011 #15
    Re: Best Calculator?

    Those are contradictory statements then. Why don't they just let you bring in your C++ Compiler :rolleyes:. There is nothing above a basic scientific calculator which will be allowed in any test.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2011 #16
    Re: Best Calculator?

    Graphing calculators are allowed on the SATs. Do all colleges forbid graphing calculators on tests?
     
  18. Apr 6, 2011 #17

    jhae2.718

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    Re: Best Calculator?

    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.
     
  19. Apr 6, 2011 #18
    Re: 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.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2011 #19
    Re: Best Calculator?

    If you have a graphing calculator for a calculus test, what is the point? You can program everything you want...
     
  21. Apr 6, 2011 #20

    turbo

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    Re: Best Calculator?

    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
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