|TI-84+, a humbling experience|
Message #1 Posted by Egan Ford on 16 Apr 2009, 11:52 a.m.
I often get tasked to help my daughter with her calculus homework. Usually its symbolic pen and paper work. I often tease her about the 84's lack of symbolic support and frequently demonstrate the symbolic gymnastics of the 50g (it's a lazy man's way to check her work too).
Last night was different. The problem set was all about finding volumes with rotation and cross sections with equations that were somewhat unfriendly. Fortunately, the problems were to be solved numerically only with a calculator.
After discussing various approaches on how solve various problems, she went to work solving it numerically on her 84+. I was blow away and how quickly she could find intersections, input equations, integrate, etc... using it's menu driven interface (no shell). It was as if this calculator with it's interface was specifically designed for this task. And, we all know that it was.
I'm sure the 50g has some similar efficient ways to do the same (does it?). But, I have never explored them. I still use my 50g just like I used my 48GX, and I used my 48GX like I used my 15C (all from the stack). My kid frequently bests me in Stats and Calculus as we race to get the numeric answer. And for that I am happy because time is very precious when taking tests.
I've always dismissed TI's because of the weak programming support and lack of RPN/RPL, and still will, but I have new respect for TIs as a leaning and test taking tool for students.
Edited: 16 Apr 2009, 11:55 a.m.