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so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 01:29PM
my son is in 10th grade. in a georgia public school. his math teacher is recommending the students get a TI-84 calculator. why? these things are $100+. i won't go into my rant on how screwed up GA math is nowadays. let's just say that 10th grade is doing a little bit of Algebra I/II and a bit of geometry, probability, and statistics. my son will not, repeat, will NOT be going on to Calculus.

he has a Casio that seems pretty complex. why does he need THAT calculator? my cynical suspicion is that the TI-84 is the one the staff is most familiar with and therefore the most expedient model for them to demonstrate exercises on. so the requirement may be more for the teachers ease of use, not the student's actual need. no, it probably doesn't hurt to have one but this school is not in a monied county. most families are doing well if they can manage to get a Casio.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2009 01:33PM by graylocks.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 18, 2009 01:40PM
I got a TI scientific calculator in college, and it's safe to say that I would not have graduated with an engineering degree without it... but then again, I was an engineering major.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: August 18, 2009 01:40PM
My daughter needed the same model last year as a freshman. I had the same questions. I was lucky enough to find one on craigslist for $25.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: August 18, 2009 01:41PM
I think it is a "standard" for many engineering /math classes - there are two on craigslist here for $70



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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: freeradical
Date: August 18, 2009 01:42PM
The TI-84 has software that automates hypothesis testing.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 01:43PM
Quote
wolfcry911
My daughter needed the same model last year as a freshman. I had the same questions. I was lucky enough to find one on craigslist for $25.

did/does your daughter feel that the TI-84 was/is critical to her being able to do the coursework?



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 01:45PM
Quote
freeradical
The TI-84 has software that automates hypothesis testing.

in what level of mathematics? i surely got through trig w/o even a slide rule or anything more complex than my fingers.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 18, 2009 01:49PM
I used a TI-82 and then an 83 in high school and college. Truth is they probably don't need the latest model (84) but they do need a graphing calculator. For playing games and cheating on exams if nothing else.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: microchip
Date: August 18, 2009 01:50PM
For Algebra 2 the big thing the TI's have is Matricies.

Get a used TI-83 and it'll work great. My TI is practically attached at the hip(rest assured, me and a few friends vetoed an actual holster.)



I do have to ask though, why not go onto calculus? Calculus rocks.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 18, 2009 01:54PM
The programmable memory on my 1983 TI was a godsend. I was always a sucker for making stupid math errors in calculations. I knew which formula and how to use it, but then I'd subtract 2 from 4 and get 1.

If everybody else in class is using a VonderKalculator 2000, and the coursework expects it, then I'd probably equip my kid with one to keep him on par.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 18, 2009 02:00PM
est assured, me and a few friends vetoed an actual holster.)

POMTL!


For Algebra 2 the big thing the TI's have is Matricies

Good to hear from somebody who's been there, done that.


Calculus rocks.

Must be a GuyGeek thing. I'm not a geek and am no MathGuy. I do admire any man, woman, or child who is great at any kind of math.

Especially if the woman is good looking, with black framed glasses, white lab coat, and a huge rack.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 18, 2009 02:10PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Calculus rocks.

Must be a GuyGeek thing. I'm not a geek and am no MathGuy. I do admire any man, woman, or child who is great at any kind of math.

It's a pun. Calculus is Latin for pebble (i.e. rock).
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Wailer
Date: August 18, 2009 02:15PM
pfft. I swear by my HP-11c. That was the best $70 I ever spent out of my own pocket. I was a 15-year-old geek, though. Now I'm a 40+ geek and I still use it almost daily. I highly recommend HP reverse polish notation calcs; I don't know any other calculators that last half as long.

The HP 11c did get me through calculus, linear algebra and differential equations just fine. Well, I had a problem passing the class but it wasn't due to my calculator.

Any scientific calculator that has trig functions, e^x, ln(x), log(x), y^x should be ample for 99% of the educated population. Even all the financial calculations, which should be derived once by anyone who relies on them, can be easily performed on any decent calc.

Graphing is nice, I guess, to help visualize things, but I think it's good to learn how to graph functions on your own.

I think you are right about the teacher only knowing that calculator. That's a really piss-poor reason to require or even recommend a certain calculator. If you don't want to spend the money for an HP, I'd recommend the least expensive solar powered calculator that has the above mentioned functions.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: microchip
Date: August 18, 2009 02:15PM
I almost forgot, graphing too.(I don't know if your son already has a graphing calculator.)

My final project for algebra 2 was to make a picture out of a finite set of graphable equasions(circles, lines, and so on).

(I made a car).
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 18, 2009 02:18PM
Quote

my cynical suspicion is that the TI-84 is the one the staff is most familiar with and therefore the most expedient model for them to demonstrate exercises on. so the requirement may be more for the teachers ease of use, not the student's actual need.

THat's probably a bigger part of it than anything else...
I recall taking a math class in college (NOT my best subject...), where calulators were required, and the teacher spent half of every class trying to get everyone on the same page as to how to perform any given function...
It was, from a students point of view, maddening to have that much time wasted EVERY SINGLE CLASS when I was trying to grasp the material (and knew more or less how to operate my calculator).

Not saying that they should drive the purchase choice 100% by the teachers familiarity with the TI, but it WOULD save a lot of valuable class time.


Quote

Especially if the woman is good looking, with black framed glasses, white lab coat, and a huge rack.

Forgive the drooling...
Just go do a Google Image Search for "Eva Angelina".
She fits a lot of that criteria. No lab coat though.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: freeradical
Date: August 18, 2009 02:19PM
Quote
graylocks
Quote
freeradical
The TI-84 has software that automates hypothesis testing.

in what level of mathematics? i surely got through trig w/o even a slide rule or anything more complex than my fingers.

Statistics.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 18, 2009 02:31PM
There are a whole range of reasons why the TI-83 or 84 are great calculators. I had a TI-85 through college. It was great for what I needed. I would write programs to perform the calculations that I needed for repetitive tasks. Saved a ton of time during tests because I just punched in some variables and the answer came out. The beauty of that though is that I had to understand how the program worked to and when to use each program, so I wasn't really missing anything, just doing it all more efficiently. The TI-95 did too much though. My math teachers in college banned those. They would do derivatives and integrals. They were like a small laptop and did 3D graphing though. Pretty cool machines. I remember that the rich kids had HP calculators. We joked that 'HP' stood for 'High Priced'. It was always funny to see someone try to figure out the HP calculators the first time because they used RPN.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: freeradical
Date: August 18, 2009 02:37PM
Quote
ztirffritz
It was always funny to see someone try to figure out the HP calculators the first time because they used RPN.

Yeah, I use an HP RPN calculator. They're nice because nobody ever wants to borrow it. :-)

The high end HP graphing calculators are sometimes banned because they have an infrared communications port.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 18, 2009 02:48PM
Almost every engineering student at my school used a HP. Those that didn't wanted them. Maybe the playing field has leveled in the last 27 years.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: comaplate
Date: August 18, 2009 02:54PM
Standardizing the equipment means the teacher should theoretically have more time to instruct the students on math fundamentals and how to apply those concepts, instead of having to use class time to teach students how to use all the various sundry types of calculators.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 18, 2009 03:21PM
My daughter had to have the TI-84 when she went into 9th or 10th grade. I told her that I was only going to buy one of those and that if she lost it, she would be the one replacing it. She took that same calculator with her to college last week.

I know the TI-84 is one of the approved calculators that can be used on the SAT, so that might be a consideration. It is highly programmable and that came in very handy when she took AP Stat last year, and believe me, any help in Stat was greatly appreciated.

If you buy one, and it doesn't get lost, stray, or stolen, he will probably never need to buy another calculator, at least through college. I would check eBay and any other places you might find a used one.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: freeradical
Date: August 18, 2009 03:30PM
Of course, any thread about calculators needs a link to The Museum of HP Calculators.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: flareslow
Date: August 18, 2009 03:32PM
Having taught Alg I/II in the Georgia school system, I observed how TI has integrated itself into the math curriculum fairly well. The textbooks include keystroke guides for both the TI 84 and TI 83 and some teachers have the ability to project the output from the calc. on a screen. The graphing capability helps our "visual" learners. I prefer a HP for my own use, but the TI calcs are ubiquitous. Most classrooms had a set. Learning to use one efficiently requires more time than most teachers have and that's why they only request one type.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Z
Date: August 18, 2009 03:59PM
We used Ti82/85s a bit in high school, but when I was at university, the more advanced calculators were banned from the engineering department for exams, with a couple of standardized, non-programmable calculators required.

That said, this was just before laptops became ubiquitous for university students ('97-'01 time frame), but their reasoning was to cut down on cheating during exams. Same goes for the fundamentals of engineering and professional engineer's certification tests. Anymore, I've got a 'simple' Casio fx-115MS [faculty.ccc.edu] [www.amazon.com] for use when I'm in the field or at a client location and don't have my laptop handy. Otherwise excel, matlab or more advanced modeling software as necessary for me!
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 04:08PM
Quote
flareslow
Having taught Alg I/II in the Georgia school system, I observed how TI has integrated itself into the math curriculum fairly well. The textbooks include keystroke guides for both the TI 84 and TI 83 and some teachers have the ability to project the output from the calc. on a screen. The graphing capability helps our "visual" learners. I prefer a HP for my own use, but the TI calcs are ubiquitous. Most classrooms had a set. Learning to use one efficiently requires more time than most teachers have and that's why they only request one type.

i take it, then, that the school you taught in provided classroom access to the calcs. i'll have to ask him about that especially since last year he rarely had homework. homework time was usually provided during class time. i am not at all opposed to getting my son the tools he needs but i tend to abhor overkill especially when times are tight. he is not a math guy and has no interest in doing anything in math beyond what is required for graduation.

when he gets home i'll check the model of Casio he has and post here.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2009 04:09PM by graylocks.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: flareslow
Date: August 18, 2009 04:30PM
The classrooms had the calculators because individual teachers had requested grant money which they used to purchase sets. For homework, Alg 1 or 2 never needed the TI. Statistics and calculus were the courses which required them for homework. From what you say of your son's needs, I would try to get by with what the school provides.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 04:35PM
Quote
flareslow
For homework, Alg 1 or 2 never needed the TI. Statistics and calculus were the courses which required them for homework. From what you say of your son's needs, I would try to get by with what the school provides.

that's where i'm leaning. he won't be doing calculus and the statistics (and probability) parts of the new Georgia Math curriculum does not go beyond the elementary aspects of those areas. they were supposedly going to hand out the textbooks this week so i'll know more after i look at the scope for Math II.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: August 18, 2009 07:48PM
Blame the textbook companies and standardized education in general. Everything that gets government funding these days must be "evidence based". Some companies have done a good job of "proving" that their solution is the one that works. TI has been very successful at getting their hardware included in textbook packages. As already stated, many major texts come with all sorts of extras geared right to the TI-84. Very few educators are willing to step outside of the box and do their own thing for fear of someone coming back and saying their test scores are too low.

As for me, I'm strengthening my plans for teaching 7th grade math without a textbook this year. I want to create learners, not number punchers.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 18, 2009 08:16PM
Quote
Markintosh
...
As for me, I'm strengthening my plans for teaching 7th grade math without a textbook this year. I want to create learners, not number punchers.

my deepest respect for you.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: August 18, 2009 09:04PM
Don't know if it will help or not but if really try you might still be able to
do it if you watch for the right deal.

How I got a new TI-83+ for $15

[forums.macresource.com]



Grateful11
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Black
Date: August 18, 2009 10:58PM
I'm in for $20. Who else?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: moviebiz
Date: August 18, 2009 11:05PM
I don't think a Ti-84 is necessary in high school algebra. However, if your son intends to head to college it may be a worthwhile investment depending upon his major. If he is majoring in the social sciences or another area that requires statistics then it will be helpful. But if he has to take calculus then the TI-84 isn't the best choice. I used an 84 in statistics and I'm using an 89 in calculus.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 18, 2009 11:09PM
thanks for the input, it's very helpful. i've sent an email off to his math teacher asking for more information on why she thinks this calculator is needed for his high school math life.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Wailer
Date: August 19, 2009 06:08AM
Quote
moviebiz
I don't think a Ti-84 is necessary in high school algebra. However, if your son intends to head to college it may be a worthwhile investment depending upon his major. If he is majoring in the social sciences or another area that requires statistics then it will be helpful. But if he has to take calculus then the TI-84 isn't the best choice. I used an 84 in statistics and I'm using an 89 in calculus.

I could see needing certain functions for statistics, but what special calculator functions would you need for up to college level calculus that wouldn't also be available on a calculator that's sufficient for statistics?

ln(x) and e^x, x^y, and all the trig functions are the only things that I think I used in calculus. Has much changed in how calculus is taught in the last 20 years?
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: AAA
Date: August 19, 2009 08:20AM
Being an HP person, there is absolutely NOTHING special about TI crap!
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Tiki2000
Date: August 19, 2009 12:48PM
What's special about a TI-84?
I would have no idea, but I know it is the standard calculator for my local school district (I donated several of them yesterday to help lower income students in that district). You are fighting the wrong battle. Your son's existing calculator MAY be more than adequate, but the TI is what the instructor teaches to (may not be right, but thems the breaks). Do him the favor and get him the TI, it will just make his life easier. Chances are if he doesn't make full use of it in the coming years, you could resell it to someone who could.

Personally, I don't use anything other than a TI-30 that my mother got me 20 years ago. I used it for high school, 6 years of college, and 2 PE exams (TI-30 is one of the approved calculators, while a TI-84 is not). I have tried other calculators, I prefer the TI-30

Oh, and just say no to HP & RPN (where's the equals sign?).
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: Z
Date: August 19, 2009 01:08PM
Down with RPN!
angry villagers smiley
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: moviebiz
Date: August 19, 2009 01:19PM
Quote
Wailer
I could see needing certain functions for statistics, but what special calculator functions would you need for up to college level calculus that wouldn't also be available on a calculator that's sufficient for statistics?

ln(x) and e^x, x^y, and all the trig functions are the only things that I think I used in calculus. Has much changed in how calculus is taught in the last 20 years?

I doubt anything has changed in the way calculus has been taught in the last 20+ years. I believe a primary reason for using an 89 in calculus rather than an 84 is the symbolic answers that are provided using an 89. You can certainly get decimal approximations, but my last calculus class deducted points unless it was explicitly stated that a decimal answer was ok.
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Re: so what's so special about a TI-84
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 19, 2009 01:19PM
RPN!! We don't need no stinkin' equals sign! thumbs up smiley



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