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WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-04-2015 10:37 PM

Greetings,

Well, I gave one of my repurposed 34s units to my son for his birthday this past weekend. My son is an engineering major at Iowa State University. We traveled down last Friday, and spent a couple of days at the Memorial Union. It was a great time.

My son was raised on TI units (84+ , 89 Titanium) and had never heard RPN, RPL (I know, what's the world coming to?). I'll tell you what its coming to, big education has decided that TI is the only show in town! (I'll save that rant for later)

Anyway, to my surprise, my son was very receptive to the wp34s and enjoyed learning about RPN, and getting a new toy to show off to his homies ( I am thinking some of them are also going to want one, so Eric may be getting some more business from ISU ). I was even thinking the wp34s might be a good campus project at some point if it catches on / anyway, there is now at least one WP34s 'repurposed' calculator floating around ISU waiting to be discovered !

Thanks again for all you guys and dolls... for making it possible!

Cheers
Smile


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - jjohnson873 - 02-05-2015 12:30 PM

Mark....nice to hear you're infusing RPN back into my alma mater, Iowa State! ISU was my first experience in buying and using an HP-25 as a EE undergrad. As a side note...I also took the last slide rule class they offered at ISU. I hope the WP34S catches on and inspires a whole new generation of RPN users. You know, things that are old become new again. GO CYCLONES!
(hope you stopped at Hickory Park while you were in Ames)


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-05-2015 12:44 PM

(02-05-2015 12:30 PM)jjohnson873 Wrote:  Mark....nice to hear you're infusing RPN back into my alma mater, Iowa State! ISU was my first experience in buying and using an HP-25 as a EE undergrad. As a side note...I also took the last slide rule class they offered at ISU. I hope the WP34S catches on and inspires a whole new generation of RPN users. You know, things that are old become new again. GO CYCLONES!
(hope you stopped at Hickory Park while you were in Ames)

OMG ... I grew up in Ames. Hickory Park has become an institution (established about ~1970)... and yes, we stopped in there for my son's birthday dinner... fabulous chicken and ribs, and all the rest, really a good time (I can hardly believe how big they have become) and there was standing room only... incredible.

By the way, I was in the last slide-rule class as well, but I used my slip-stick well into the late seventies because I liked it (knew how to use it, and I was fast) and let's face it, for most stuff all you really need are two or three digits anyway/

Go Cyclones!
Smile


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-22-2015 08:14 PM

Greetings, my daughter is now carrying the WP34s (30b) RPN calculator into her college physics department; she received an early birthday gift from Dad's 'sandbox,' as it were, and is now working her way through the owner's manual with the real thing; she has been playing with the emulator on her mac air. She found the layout of the device very intuitive, and has taken off with RPN straight away-- brilliant.

So, that's two kids who have been weened off their TI units/ whoohoo!

Cheers,
marcus
Smile


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - troll80 - 02-26-2015 01:03 AM

Had to register when I saw this thread.

I got my engineering degree from Iowa State in the 80s, using an HP-41C and CV that my engineer dad gave me when I was in high school. Still my daily go-to machine. Its button feel is superior to anything I've used since.

I'm surprised to hear kids still even need calculators these days, with phone/tablet apps, Excel, Matlab, and Wolfram Alpha. I'm so out of touch!

Ah, ISU. Johnny Orr was king, VEISHEA still existed (without riots), and tuition was affordable. Haven't been there in a long time, but go Cyclones! In Hoiberg we trust.


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - SlideRule - 02-26-2015 02:08 PM

(02-26-2015 01:03 AM)troll80 Wrote:  ... I'm surprised to hear kids still even need calculators these days, with phone/tablet apps, Excel, Matlab, and Wolfram Alpha.

w/o impugning ANYONE, calculators don't access the internet etc..
I teach Technical Mathematics & the temptation for Academic Dishonesty is greatly reduced by restricting computational devices to NON-programmable calculators during EXAMS. My students can use any device during Lecture, but...
BEST!
SlideRule


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-26-2015 04:29 PM

(02-26-2015 02:08 PM)SlideRule Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 01:03 AM)troll80 Wrote:  ... I'm surprised to hear kids still even need calculators these days, with phone/tablet apps, Excel, Matlab, and Wolfram Alpha.

w/o impugning ANYONE, calculators don't access the internet etc..
I teach Technical Mathematics & the temptation for Academic Dishonesty is greatly reduced by restricting computational devices to NON-programmable calculators during EXAMS. My students can use any device during Lecture, but...
BEST!
SlideRule

Greetings, I remember back to the day when I used my slide rule at the college level... my professors (UMKC) would inspect each slide rule to make certain *nothing* was hand written with an H pencil on or between the scales! ;-) Also, see my next response below.

Cheers,
marcus


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-26-2015 04:40 PM

(02-26-2015 01:03 AM)troll80 Wrote:  I'm surprised to hear kids still even need calculators these days, with phone/tablet apps, Excel, Matlab, and Wolfram Alpha.

The engineering department at ISU pushed Excel pretty heavy first term. My son has a trove of hand-held calculators (mostly TI vintage, a Casio, & now the WP34s; he also has an HP35s that he doesn't know about yet). For his classwork he tells me that he really prefers Excel (or the LibreOffice counter-part).

Be sure to see 'Sliderule's' post above: my son's professors will *NOT* allow his calculators on exams (no graphing devices, nor communicating devices, nor notebooks|iPads &c). They will permit what he calls a 'dumb' calculator (the TI36x Pro) for instance. The bottom line is that to prevent cheating (which is at an all-time-high in American classrooms today) the professors are only permitting calculators that, well, just calculate. So he can take the 36x Pro, or the FX115es, or his fx-260 solar. That's it.

Of course the NCEES has the same issue/ and they will only permit the HP35s, HP33s, 36x Pro, or FX115 models on the FE exam(s).

My personal opinion on the matter is that exams (including the FE) should be structured so that the exam is about engineering, not about how well you take exams nor how well you can use your calculator (makes the exam harder to construct, but its doable).

Cheers,
marcus


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - walter b - 02-26-2015 05:38 PM

(02-26-2015 04:40 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  [They will permit what he calls a 'dumb' calculator (the TI36x Pro) for instance. The bottom line is that to prevent cheating (...) the professors are only permitting calculators that, well, just calculate.

How about a WP 31S? Smile

(02-26-2015 04:40 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  My personal opinion on the matter is that exams (...) should be structured so that the exam is about engineering, not about how well you take exams nor how well you can use your calculator (makes the exam harder to construct, but its doable).

So true! But it requires more effort - and people don't like working.

d:-I


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - Sanjeev Visvanatha - 02-26-2015 08:29 PM

(02-26-2015 05:38 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 04:40 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  [They will permit what he calls a 'dumb' calculator (the TI36x Pro) for instance. The bottom line is that to prevent cheating (...) the professors are only permitting calculators that, well, just calculate.

How about a WP 31S? Smile

A University in Canada has approved the WP-31S already Wink

http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-2309.html?highlight=authorized


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-26-2015 09:35 PM

(02-26-2015 08:29 PM)Sanjeev Visvanatha Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 05:38 PM)walter b Wrote:  How about a WP 31S? Smile

A University in Canada has approved the WP-31S already Wink

http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-2309.html?highlight=authorized

The WP31s is approved for use in class exams (on the surface). If some professors knew or understood that the calculators firmware may be compiled and replaced by the student, then it would not be permitted (there is a level of distrust if the calc can be 'changed'); having said that, if my son brought the WP31s into class (physics or chemistry) exam(s) he would probably not be questioned at all (because its not graphing, and it clearly does not have comm, printer, nor memory stick capabilities.

The NCEES is another kettle of fish entirely. Those folks decide a year in advance which calcs will be permitted for the next exam year, and if the calc can be modified (repurposed, reloaded) its not going to be considered; sad but true.

Cheers,
marcus


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-26-2015 10:17 PM

(02-26-2015 05:38 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 04:40 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  [They will permit what he calls a 'dumb' calculator (the TI36x Pro) for instance. The bottom line is that to prevent cheating (...) the professors are only permitting calculators that, well, just calculate.

How about a WP 31S? Smile

it works! By the way, so does the WP34s. The professor allows the WP34s because its not graphing (so he assumes it has none of the other features like comm, huge memory, alpha mode, and repurposing). If the true nature of the WP34s gets out, well, it might become 'streng verboten'!

:-}
marcus


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - Thomas Klemm - 02-26-2015 11:36 PM

(02-26-2015 05:38 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 04:40 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  They will permit what he calls a 'dumb' calculator

How about a WP 31S? Smile

Do you consider the WP-31S a 'dumb' calculator?


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - BarryMead - 02-27-2015 03:56 AM

(02-26-2015 11:36 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  
(02-26-2015 05:38 PM)walter b Wrote:  How about a WP 31S? Smile

Do you consider the WP-31S a 'dumb' calculator?
What the officials of the testing committee are concerned with is "Programmability". If a student can tuck away a program containing a difficult to remember formula, then they believe that this gives an unfair advantage to that student who needn't remember the formula. It isn't so much a SMART vs DUMB issue, it is more of a "Trainable" vs "Untrainable" issue. They disallow any calculator that can be loaded with a custom "Program" before the test. Those "Programmable" calculators
that are permitted for testing have well known "Erase" procedures that the instructors know and perform on student's calculators (to ensure that no custom programs are allowed) prior to the exam.


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - SlideRule - 02-27-2015 02:07 PM

(02-27-2015 03:56 AM)BarryMead Wrote:  It isn't so much a SMART vs DUMB issue, it is more of a "Trainable" vs "Untrainable" issue.

I emphasize understanding relationship over rote memorization for Technical Mathematics students. Foundational formulas are necessary but insufficient to excel in the attendant exams, which are almost always word problems. I appreciate your 'trainable" vs 'untrainable posture.
BEST!
SlideRule


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-27-2015 02:52 PM

(02-27-2015 02:07 PM)SlideRule Wrote:  
(02-27-2015 03:56 AM)BarryMead Wrote:  It isn't so much a SMART vs DUMB issue, it is more of a "Trainable" vs "Untrainable" issue.

I emphasize understanding relationship over rote memorization for Technical Mathematics students. Foundational formulas are necessary but insufficient to excel in the attendant exams, which are almost always word problems. I appreciate your 'trainable" vs 'untrainable posture.
BEST!
SlideRule

It's all about relationship.


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - troll80 - 02-28-2015 04:13 PM

Interesting thread. This entire website is about calculators, yet everyone is agreeing they are the devil (paraphrasing).

I LOVED my HP calculator back in the day & I remember programming a 2x2 matrix solver into it that I felt gave me a probably unfair advantage over the other students and their non-programmable bricks. Not only could I solve 2-equation-2-unknown problems faster, I could rest easy that I didn't make a simple arithmetic error.

I'd be happy if all calculators were banned on engineering exams. Although we've probably all had plenty of experiences in our student & professional lives where calculators save time, and, occasionally, help build understanding (fiddling around with calculations), but I think they're a detriment at exam time.

A story from when I used to tutor high school: a student of mine couldn't find the average of 71 and 72 without a calculator. I should have written the school superintendent and asked him to ban their use!


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - Dwight Sturrock - 03-01-2015 12:46 AM

College EE Technology involves lots of programming and computer use, including on exams. In pure math exams, it was kind of a moot point since spending a lot of time on a calculator would waste so much time you would never finish the exam. Either you understood the concepts and procedures or you didn't. It seemed like exams were structured in such a way that calculators wouldn't make much of a difference, useful mostly for 4 functions, sine, log, etc.

I knew how to program my 42S, but I never met another student at Purdue who said they could program their TI.


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 03-02-2015 05:52 AM

(03-01-2015 12:46 AM)Dwight Sturrock Wrote:  I knew how to program my 42S, but I never met another student at Purdue who said they could program their TI.

Most people who own a TI-83, TI-84, TI-89 don't program them (in my experience). I have two students (now in college) who never programmed their TI machines, and they used them for six years! That is painful to a 'father' who is a professional software engineer and general computer geek. :-}

Why, you might ask, do they not get programmed? Because schools do not emphasize it, and because the BASIC environment of the 83, 84, and 89 is cumbersome. They DO NOT use keystroke programming; they use a tokenized rudimentary form of TI BASIC that is 'coded' from pneumonic menus (its awful, frankly); but, it is doable. I remember I got my son to use the programming features ONCE for his science fair project (on the TI-89).

Most of the programming I do on the TI-84 is Z80 op code programming (machine language). The system ROM is very well documented (for system I|O and function routines) and that thing is fairly fast for an 'ancient' 8 bit system. A lot of what I use the Arduino for today I used the TI-84 to accomplish... it has a great serial interface and was not a bad controller; although, it required more hardware chips in the project interface (Arduino is MUCH better today).

Cheers,
marcus
Smile


RE: WP34s Birthday Gift @ ISU - MarkHaysHarris777 - 03-02-2015 07:58 AM

(02-28-2015 04:13 PM)troll80 Wrote:  Interesting thread. This entire website is about calculators, yet everyone is agreeing they are the devil (paraphrasing).

I LOVED my HP calculator back in the day . . .

no no no... I do not believe anyone is agreeing to any such thing (not even a loose paraphrase). In many ways academia is still playing catch-up with technology; and no wonder, technology is accelerating at a rate that is even hard for us professionals to keep up with!

There will always be purists (mathematicians all) who believe that mathematics is for the work of young men with a pencil and a stack of paper... power to 'em! The mathematicians at IAS Princeton absolutely 'hated' the engineering team that was assembled there to build their land-mark computer (used primarily for H bomb wave testing in the early cold war). Was that machine evil? No, the people using it were evil; IMHO.

We now know that mathematics has a place for calculating machines--- some proofs are simply not possible without them! Eventually calculators (all communicating image and symbol devices, not just limited to calculators) will be viewed as a necessary tool in every environment including the classroom during examination periods... even on the NCEES FE exam(s). Its just going to take some time; the old school needs to die off first, for one thing.

My idea for the NCEES exam(s) is to generate the exam on-the-fly from a database of 300,000 problems chosen randomly and administered over a five hour period in five categories. The student proceeds through the examine until the five hour period expires, or until they have correctly worked 300 multi-level word problems; which ever comes first. The score is pass fail.

The student should be allowed to bring whatever reference materials (including books, crib sheets, calculators (2 or three of them), a slide rule if they want, and hey, give them internet access to boot--! (Why, because they're going to need ALL of those things on the job!)

If the student requires ALL of those things for every problem they are NEVER going to get through the problems in five hours. On the other hand, if they need those resources to manage one or two of the problems (what the heck, they are going to do that at work too, let's get serious!).

The testing (NCEES, or other) should not be about how well you take tests, nor how well you can use your programmable calculator; it should only and ever be about, "Does the student understand engineering principles?"

Cheers,
marcus
Smile