|Re: HP33S simulator/emulator|
Message #45 Posted by Ed Look on 6 Nov 2005, 10:13 p.m.,
in response to message #44 by ECL
You flatter me.
I am a professor of chemistry.
It turns out that the calcs, HP or otherwise, to most chemists are more useful in teaching than research, as the synthetic guys (total potboilers) need only rather basic calculations generally doable on the back of an envelope like G. N. Lewis did and the theorists (complete numbercrunchers) either go the back of the envelope route or rely heavily on PCs or mainframes.
To me, the involvement in actual research calculation has been of the light duty type (quick and dirty short programs in a 33S to convert eV to wavenumber and vice versa, etc.), but the heavier (for us) usage has been in teaching. A bulk of this is in the basic statistical handling of grades, but also in use as a light, small, convenient, and highly portable machine to execute handy programs like ones to help index x-ray patterns, etc. in a classroom or teaching lab. Yes, this is normally done very efficiently in a computer, but in teaching it, not all areas have computer access and some that do don't have the right software.
Now having said all this... and from a chemist's vantage point, I personally DON'T LIKE graphing calculators... well, let me take that back a bit... I don't like the graphing aspect:
I think a student, especially an undergrad, should go through the motions of plotting whatever functions or curves he needs ON PAPER, aided by the output of a trusty HP RPN scientific programmable, to truly get the total feel and significance of the plot.
I have found that, especially for high school aged kids, but still significantly for college students, having the instant gratification of a visual output on a screen on a calculator robs the student of full understanding of the (chemical, physical, biological, statistical) meaning of the curve. Of course, you guys are obviously bright folk and won't have this problem, so for you all, it's probably okay. But for your more average performer, I hate it.
The only time I use my 48G, 48G+, or 49G+ is as a glorified scientific programmable; i.e., more programming capability and bettery equation or constants library (not necessarily faster; I once mimicked some FORTRAN programs that calculated some figures given some chemical or algebraic restrictions for convergence and it took literally overnight). For instance, that homemade powder pattern indexing program I mentioned above just CAN'T be done in a 33S or 32SII or equivalent- there just isn't the program or variable memory space available in them.
But aside from applications that demand more power, I find myself always reaching back most often for my 33S (at work) or 32SII (at home) as they are truly, the most convenient powerful machines (the others are more powerful, but bulkier and thus harder to carry, put on a cluttered surface, etc.)
Ah, look what you made me do... a ten mile long post... :p