calculators allowed at school



#35

Anybody here who may point me to the list of magisterially (?) allowed calculators in schools in BW (a county in SW Germany)? The first math teacher ("Fachschaftsvorsitzender") told me, they may only use Casio.

That leads me to a second question: is there somewhere an emulator for Casios with a quality sufficient for educational purose -- with a surface similar to Emu48, Emu42, V41, or VTI?

TIA.....Mike


#36

Dear Mike,

in North Germany (Niedersachen) my son Jonas uses the TI84 - unfortunately no HP :-(

Regards - Christoph


#37

At my "fachhochschule" (NL) was the HP32s the standard calculator. For myself I organised a 42S.

And yes it is true that certain corrupt teachers make certain calculators mantatory, so they can get a profit from a local supplier. Next to the other oldfashioned teachers who prefer the student to learn everything from heart. These also want to reintroduce the slide rule.

Motivation for the fear for advanced calculators is that a student can put the formulas in the calculator.

It makes me very sad to see that it still is a problem.... In the time of internet, WAP, UMTS etc.

#38

At my "Fachhochschule" (NL) the HP32s was the standard calculator. For myself I organised a 42S, and allmost nobody noticed the difference, because there were 32S and 32SII in use. A 48s(x) was not allowed. A year after graduation I showed to a very oldfashioned fossile teacher the capabilities of my HP42S. In the fight that followed he tried desperately to withdraw my degree and failed. All examinations are now, at my old "Fachhochschule" :

1: with everything you want to use, except a connection to the outside world, so all your books and all your notes you can take with you to you exam,

2: the only thing allowed is something to write and nothing else.


And yes, it is true that certain corrupt teachers make certain calculators mandatory, so they can get a profit from a local supplier. Next to the other oldfashioned teachers who prefer the student to learn everything from heart. These also want to reintroduce the slide rule.

Motivation for the fear for advanced calculators is the possibility for a student to put the formulas in the calculator. And to avoid the problem of checking every calculator for "storage capabilities" just one kind of calculator is allowed to use, and the casio is a very simple calculator. I don't know if there is a possibility to put an advanced calculator in the "skin" of a simple casio, as a way of undermining these oldfashioned regulations.

It makes me very sad to see that it still is a problem.... In the time of internet, WAP, UMTS etc.

In the real world you use your books, notes, internet to find the solution to the problem. Only time is the limiting factor.


#39

"A year after graduation I showed to a very oldfashioned fossile teacher the capabilities of my HP42S. In the fight that followed he tried desperately to withdraw my degree and failed."

What an Arschloch.

My wife took the GED exam (high school equivalency in the US) and they REQUIRED the Casio f-250 or somesuch. I picked one up at K-mart for $7.


#40

Tnx a lot 4 all replies. I found that there is no list, there are only guidelines and which calculator it will be is a decission of every school - alas not of the parents.

Ciao.....Mike


#41

hp 33s should be allowed in your school, too.

You can used the hp 33s in old ALG style or old RPN style.

The program steps are command names instead of codes, though.

BOTH modes can be programmed!

[VPN]


#42

The choice of a calculator is not mine as a parent, its the school that has to decide. Currently in BW (south-west Germany) graphing calculators _must_ have no CAS. Only few schools are selected for a test with CAS, but then the arithmetical problems to solve in test are quite different. Interestingly most CAS-testing schools use Maple or TI-92, only one try with HP-49.

About the emulator for Casio calculators: seems there is fallow only. I only found one, but IMHO it's not too useful. And for sure it may not be used in education. So once more *hats off!* for Emu48 and alikes.

Ciao.....Mike


#43

"Interestingly most CAS-testing schools use Maple or TI-92, only one try with HP-49."

URL?

[VPN]


#44

Yep, here: http://www.lehrer.uni-karlsruhe.de/~za242/casimu/Schulen.html

Ciao.....Mike

#45

As this old-fashioned fossil engineer (I received my degree in 1950) understands it, some modern students believe that it is acceptable to subvert the intent of instructors to ensure that their students learn some things by heart by hiding formulas in the memory of their calculators. In my school days we would have called that CHEATING.

During a discussion of NCEES calculator limitations last year one correspondent wrote "...Granted, if you brought the 17B you would also need a good scientific, but with its solver and long variable ames, you would be able to load up some pretty good formulas that have a high probability of being on the exam. ..." In my school days we would have called that CHEATING.

Back in my school days we used slide rules. I hadn't even thought that there was a really sneaky way to use my slide rule to bring formulas with me for use in tests. Then last year I was buying a Post 1447 (made in Japan by Sun Hemmi) for my collection at a garage sale. Another shopper observed my purchase and stated that it was his Hemmi that allowed him to get a passing grade in physics class. I asked how that could be. He explained that there were two unused surfaces on his Hemmi on which he could write formulas that he had trouble remembering. One surface was on the frame under the slide. The second could be made available by bending the tabs which held the celluloid insert in place on the back of the Hemmi such that he could move the insert and store more formulas under the insert. In those days we called that CHEATING.

It made me sad when students in my day used crib sheets and wrote formulas on the palm of their hand. It makes me sad when today's students bring formulas they are expected to know from memory into exams in the memory of their calculators. Find other words to pretty up the process if you must. The bottom line is that it's CHEATING.


#46

As an engineer in industry you are payed for results. No one asks how you get these results -- only how fast. I was fast enough with my HP-41C, today with my HP200LX. Cheating? Yes, of cause. The better will win.

Ciao.....Mike


#47

Hi Mike,

Quote:
No one asks how you get these results -- only how fast


Actually, in my experience this is not true at all. Perhaps even more so than in school, engineering analysis requires a clear record of the assumptions, approach, work, as well as arithmetic.

Or, answers are meaningless unless supported by analysis.

regards,

Bill


#48

OK, I probably used the wrong words to describe the difference to school: in industry you do not need to find the solution by heart, you may use all reasonable resources.

But, do you know the quality system of ASME? If you get a signature that your results are achieved according to the standard you may erase all records about how you got that signed paper. Just to prevent evidence in case of error.

Answers are meaningless, at least for the computer that calculated them. In a case of a faulty axle lubrication the responsible engineer wondered: "But the computer calculated it that way". Would it help if we send him back to school to learn tribological characteristics by heart?

Well, school should prepare for the tasks after school with leading edge methods. We had been told: you may cheat as much as you can - but never get caught cheating.

Ciao.....Mike


#49

Actually, at school you're not solving problems, just being trained to solve them. Rules state you must not use 'reminders', ONLY to train your mental muscles.

If you expect that "the solution" always exists somewhere, ready to replace variables by their current values, be warned : some solutions must be INVENTED (CREATED). And if your brain is just a preprocessor for Google searches, well... maybe you're not very smart, degree or not.


#50

Probably I should tell you that off-list: it was a french engineer who wondered: "The computer calculated it that way".

About Google: the internet is the slag heap of our computerized society. By googling it free of charge you hope to dig out something still useful. Valuable information is stored in about 5000 databases where every query must be payed.

Ciao.....Mike

#51

When I was a mechanic, no one ever brought a car in and said "fix it but you can't use a certain tool." To tell me to solve engineering problems but then deny the use of the machine of my choice is just that.

Your self description as a fossil is most apt. Your thinking is dead, may it rest in peace.


#52

Keep 'em flying, Mr. Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.!

Cheating = BAD. If you have to cheat, you can't compete.

However, cheating is when one does something against the rules. Writing formulas for physics on the inside of a slide rule is certainly cheating. BUT: if a test is open book, it isn't. We've all (I'm pretty sure) had open book and closed book tests. Rules are rules (even slide rules!). The PE exam is an open-book test. The FE is partially open-book, as the examinee is provided with a pretty big book full of formulas AND this book is readily available (free download, or you can buy a hard copy) from NCEES a year prior to the exam. If you study properly for the FE, you'll be able to solve all the problems using just their book (except you'd better memorize completing-the-square!). And if you haven't studied properly for the exams, you have a 1-in-4 chance of getting a question right simply by guessing (it's multiple-choice these days).

Regarding calculators, it is NOT programmability, or memory, or built-in functions that's at issue with the NCEES. It is communications ability. That is, any calculators with the ability to communicate with another device is prohibited; thus, you can't share answers with others during the exam and you can't steal the exam by typing in questions (NCEES also prohibts calculators with QWERTY keyboards). Therefore, my HP-28S was prohibited because it has an infrared commo port. My TI-66 is prohibited because it has a printer port that could be configured (I guess, I'm civil, not electrical...) into a commo port, etc. NCEES also probits highlighters and any writing implements other than the ones they provide because some jerk brought in a pen scanner and tried to steal exam questions!


#53

Wher to download that book? URL, please...

[VPN]


#54

No one uses Google anymore, eh?

http://www.ncees.org/exams/study_materials/fe_handbook/

It's a 17 MB download. Print it out, study using it along with one of them FE practice books.


#55

It can also be downloaded in sections from the same URL.

Happy reading!

John

#56

You know, wise asses that waste their intelligence and creativity thinking of lowlife ways to do things like that ought to be similarly dealt with:

They should be apprehended and sentenced to teach math or writing or science in high school... IN THE INNER CITY. Give the guy a boxcutter, kevlar vest, and a HP 6S or some no-name from a 99-cent store just to keep things fair!

#57

Hi Palmer,

You are correct about improper use of stored information within an educational framework.

Apparently, some of the responses you have received to your post miss this point. Of course it is OK for a practicing engineer to use a fancy calculator and store formulas in it. But that is not appropriate for a test, where the professor has made a point of limiting your information, for the purpose of testing.

There was, when I was in school, what I would call the 90% rule: 90% of people would cheat if they could, though only 10% of them would actually cheat. Of the 100% of the class, only 10% understood that cheating was in fact a self deceit.

Regards,

Bill

#58

As a scientist and instructor at times, I must concur, Palmer. Never mind for a second integrity and morality. How about truly learning and understanding the math?

And Mr. Randerson, I would probably have thrown you out, and automatically flunked you. I must say, I think you ought to watch how you word your posts, especially to men your senior in terms of knowledge and experience and time. You really ought to keep an eye on your piquant tones. You should get some peace and rest... or run for public office. Bah.


#59

I passed all my engineering math classes jumping through the hoops of the pure mathematicians, no calculator allowed, with flying colors. I've never been thrown out of a class, so you're blowing a pipe dream there. I know when to be diplomatic and when not to be. Bowing obseqiously to authority is just not my style. I can and will continue to be confrontal when I see fit. Just because one may have a degree doesn't mean they're god. I want to see someone do something now, not just rest on past laurels. In short, you're only as good as what you're solving right now.

#60

Mr Palmer Jr (?)

I agree with the fact that cheating is not the way to go. But you will have to agree that a lot of people use every mean to reach their goal. A decade after my graduation I discovered that there are a lot of *** walking around that have no problem at all to make a nice presentation of somebody else his/her work. We call them the "powerpoint specialists"

I am happy to be a engineer, a world in which the "powerpoint specialists" are outnumbered.

On the other hand; I started highschool just in the last year of the sliderule. The discussion was the same: electronic calculator were outbanned by old math-teachers.

Don't stop new developments !

So in education or open book or just a pencil.

#61

<< During a discussion of NCEES calculator limitations last year one correspondent wrote "...Granted, if you brought the 17B you would also need a good scientific, but with its solver and long variable ames, you would be able to load up some pretty good formulas that have a high probability of being on the exam. ..." In my school days we would have called that CHEATING. >>

Possibly Mr. Hanson is not familiar with the format of NCEES exams. These exams are essentially open-book; extensive memorization of formulas is not expected. For the FE and FLS exams, NCEES supplies all candidates with a detailed Reference Manual. For the PE and PLS exams, candidates may bring in almost any references that they desire. The exams are essentially "open-calculator" as well, although your calculator must be on the current NCEES "approved" list.

Historically, virtually all calculators (except possibly those with QWERTY keyboards) were allowed on NCEES exams, and it was perfectly legal to program them with formulas or equations prior to the exam. The HP41C, 42S, and 48 series were all very popular with exam candidates during the 1980s and 1990s. If programming them yourself was too much trouble, then commercial calculator software for the exams was readily available and advertised.

As of 2004, NCEES has banned graphing calculators, but they still allow the programmable 33S, and there is still a perfectly legal and aboveground trade in commercial 33S exam sofware (e.g. www.chotkeh.com, www.33ssurveyor.com). Chotkeh, in particular, has been around for many years. If NCEES had any problem whatsoever with such vendors, then state engineering boards would shut them down immediately. But obviously they don't.

Believe it or not, it is both legal and ethical to use a pre-programmed calculator on an NCEES exam, and it has been for the past 30 years. It's true that NCEES recently banned graphing calculators, but the ban was not due to their programmability -- it's because NCEES thinks that their alphanumeric or communications capabilities could be used to copy or transmit exam questions.

This may seem strange to you, but NCEES genuinely doesn't care what is in your calculator's memory when you enter the exam room. You can bring in absolutely any program or equation that you like. But NCEES *does* care (a great deal) about what is in your calculator's memory when you *exit* the exam room. From the NCEES perspective, "cheating" is defined as "using your calculator to copy the exam questions". As long as you only use your calculator to answer the exam questions -- whether through programming or not -- then you're legit.


#62

Very well-stated. Problem is that fossils like this Hanson seem to be the current rulers of NCEES. In their mind, using anything but some basic four-banger calc is cheating. If they had the guts to admit it, they just don't like technology. And these guys claim to be engineers? @#$%!!


#63

<< Problem is that fossils like this Hanson seem to be the current rulers of NCEES. In their mind, using anything but some basic four-banger calc is cheating. >>

Possibly Mr. Randerson missed the point of my post, which was to emphasize the *differences* between Mr. Hanson and NCEES as regards "cheating".

The intended logic ran as follows: NCEES currently allows programmable calculators and commercial exam software on their open-book exams, and has done so for many years. This indicates that NCEES does not regard the use of such tools as "cheating", in contrast to the opinion originally suggested by Mr. Hanson. Yet Mr. Randerson concludes that NCEES and Mr. Hanson hold similar views, which is exactly the opposite of the point that I tried to make.

Mr. Randerson's posts, in addition to being illogical, also tend to be rude. It is true that people occasionally post misinformed opinions on this board; however, the best way to address such posts is with a polite and well-reasoned response. Mr. Randerson would be well advised to adapt to this style, because it will serve him well in professional practice. Most private and public engineering organizations now make extensive use of e-mail communication. All e-mail messages -- even the poorly composed ones -- become a "permanent record" that colleagues and supervisors can readily refer to.


#64

I tried to address this point with Mr. Randerson in a "private" e-mail, but it bounced back; I am guessing either he mistyped his e-mail address or intentionally left a bogus one.

But since another person has made this point, I just want to say that respect, especially for a more experienced and older person (who is also obviously quite intelligent, though this shouldn't even be an issue) is one measure of a man. Even hot, angry topics can be civilly discussed using more calibrated tones, since the notion of engineers and engineering was mentioned.

Mr. Randerson, your opinions are of course generally welcome; only, well, to quote Mary Poppins, "a little spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down... "

#65

This Message was deleted. This empty message preserves the threading when a post with followup(s) is deleted.


#66

"... and I enjoy making all these so called professionals get upset."



As you can see we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Randerson.

It seems that you have been living two lives.

...

One of these lives has a future.

I'm going to be as forthcoming as I can be, Mr. Randerson.

You're here because we need your help.

...

My collegues believe that I'm wasting my time with you,

but I believe you're wish to do the right thing.

We are willing to wipe this slade clean - give you a fresh start.

All that we asking in return is your co-operation.

#67

... calculators were designed by engineers... right?

I do not feel myself with the right to disagree with you, Mr. Palmer, because I don't know the reality you faced at the time you were at the university. It is somehow different of mine because I was at the university in the 80's.

Now I see PC's running programs for building programs, I mean, even non-programmers can go ahead and program. And some of them call themselves programmers.

I'd be neither against these "program builders", because in some circumstances, top professionals in areas not related to computers or programs are now able to use computer tools and develop highly specialized graphics applications that help other professionals around the world. Think of a program helping plage control writen in C-builder by a plage specialist that cannot program in plain C...

I see computers, calculators and the like as updated tools, math tools, reasoning-aid tools. Using them the best way may be a matter of choice OR knowing how. There is new machinery, designed by engineers, that allows some stuff to be done today that were simply impossible in the past, without them. It is up to us, teachers, show students the best way to use these tools.

I guess if it would be possible going to space with a slide rule instead of a programmed HP65 or HP41CV. If I'm an astronaut, I'd write down some formulas in the back of my own slide rule... Going to the space is not making an examination, but in this case, you bet I'd cheat!

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 23 Feb 2005, 10:43 a.m.


#68

I'm getting in late (as usual B^)

I haven't taken the NCEES, but I have taken tests B^)

Is "life" an "Open book test"?

I'm being philosophical here. I believe that testing
should be in many ways about "real world" circumstances.
No, learning to load, shoot and clean a weapon is a lesson that should be received before entering the battlefield.
The lessons should teach the student how
to identify the problem and apply existing knowledge to
build a solution, then a test should present the student with
examples they may encounter in real life.

Most Math students hate their test questions to be in essay form. But isn't that how the problem arises in real life?

For example, a person doesn't often encounter in daily life the question:

10% of 23 = ?

But instead, they see a $23 item on sale at 10% off,
and they need to know what the item will cost after
the discount and with taxes added. And they may buy
other items in the same venue, combining various
discounted and non-discounted items. They also should
have to subtract the total from their existing bank balance,
credit card balance or contents of their wallet/purse and
make a judgement of whether they can afford the purchase.

In real life, they may have a calculator in their pocket.
but they probably won't have a Math book.
In real life, a Civil Engineer may be out a remote worksite, with dead cell phone, a calculator, and an Engineer's Pocket Reference (booklet) with formulae and lists of soil properties. But will they know what needs to be formulated?
Will they be able to give a "ballpark figure" as to whether
construction should be continued without major changes in
route, funding, or manpower? Or stopped because of safety
concerns?

An algebra teacher I had this past year, used to work for a logging (woodcutting) company. While there he saw large Matrices calculated which included such things as actual number of trees, their heights and diameters, to determine
the most profitable and sustainable exploitation. It was a real life problem he 'brought' to the classroom to tell us that
matrices will be encountered 'out there in the real world'.
He also used the image of a de-barking machine as analogous to mathmatical "function". It didn't matter what type of
tree went into the debarker, it came out debarked. If an
oak went in, a (debarked) oak came out. If a pine went in,
a pine(debarked) came out... But there wasn't an inverse function for 'debarking'! B^)


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