Re: Graphing Calculators and education


Being an rpn user primarily, I found that whenever I borrowed a machine I had to be very thoughtful about how to use it--always aproximating the answer in my head or on paper.

Please understand that exactly the same thing is true for us algebraic users when we pick up an RPN machine.

Many the time I have grabbed an employee's 32sii (or in years gone by an 11c) and started pecking away, expecting it to follow precedence rules, only to get garbage answers and then start over. Finally I learned to think first, then calculate...

The other thing I tend to do with unfamiliar machines is to avoid any chain or parenthesis work--rather keep finding intermediate results and continuing on. This is the most sure-fire way to muddle through with even the most recalcitrant calculator logic!

Well, you could use the parenthesis keys (if available), just like you learned in algebra class, but for us there are none on the RPN machine!

Which is one reason why HP started making dual mode calculators.

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