|Re: Roll call from CURRENT student HP users:|
Message #11 Posted by Stephen Easterling on 3 Nov 2005, 2:57 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Crawl
I got my B.S. in Physics (Math minor) and M.S. in Radiological Medical Physics. From the 9th grade through grad school and 9 years of professional use my "main" calculator was a Casio scientific. (I also used a Casio FX7000G in high school for a few problems, but didn't really need it.) However, when I started college as an undergrad, I got a HP28S and used it extensively, but I was still not allowed to use it on exams, so I used it mainly for homework. I had to do all of my math by hand (all calc classes, statistics, linear algebra, ODE, PDE). I wasn't allowed to use a computer until I took partial differential equations and had to solve systems of PDE using Mathematica. My textbook, in fact, was a course on PDE using Mathematica. (One problem took me ten pages doing it by hand!) After I completed much of my math coursework, I heard that my university was starting to use the TI calcs for many of their math classes. I thought that was not a great idea because they were substituting long-hand calcs for the calculator-based problem-solving capability. IMO, this should be left to the student to work out on their own in their dorm room late at night while burning the midnight oil. BTW, I also had Excel, SigmaPlot, etc. to do other graphing when necessary (plus my Casio FX7000G,... programming this calc was a nightmare!).
After grad school, I used both my smaller, lighter Casio scientific and my bulky 28S, but used the 28S only for running basic programs to make my life easier. Now, I've recently rekindled my love affair with the HPs and established a small collection of about 20-21 different models. I love finding the strengths of each and rotating them in/out of home and professional use. I like the larger calcs only the being able to display more information at once, but enjoy the compact feel of my Voyager or any RPN Pioneers when it comes to actual use. The difference between my 48SX/GX/49G+ and any Voyager/Pioneer is like comparing my big Chevy Silverado diesel truck to my little peppy Chey S10 pickup. One is quicker and easier to get around in for mundane chores, but the other is best to be in when undertaking a really long trip or difficult workload.
If I were back in college again, I'd pick up a 33S and 49G+ and learn to use and program them both really well. Sure the older models are great, but the newer ones are better if don't mind the way they look.
Sorry if I rambled on too long. I felt I needed to get in a few words to represent the physicists out there.