Aww, it’s not even pink. But minimal black functions just as well. And worth every penny, IMHO.
I’m an old goat, so I can handle the blame if she isn’t thoroughly happy with the gift.
My advice to her is to read the user’s guide thoroughly from start to finish. If her classroom teachers are typical, they won’t show a quarter of the calc’s capabilities in the classroom. (One, there isn’t that much extra time; two, they might not know them themselves…) These once came with very good printed guidebooks; now you might need to get them from online. https://education.ti.com/en/guidebook/details/en/3BBF042421644CE2AF713484B03A8B11/ti-84-plus-ce
Try out all the examples; they might not be always exciting, but they can suggest modifications that could be.
Not a CAS calculator, but it can do a lot of the finite calculations that underlie calculus, e.g. And it is very easy to use for graphing to illustrate concepts, everything from function transformations to derivatives and integrals, even infinite sums (pay extra attention to all the ins and outs of the options on the “stat” and “list” keys; there used to be two complete chapters on those). All the options under the various graphing keys also offer myriad possibilities – read that chapter completely.
(1) I wrote a simple TI-Basic “program” called “OWNER” that displayed my name and contact information when it was run.
(2) Any program worth keeping should be copied under a slightly different name and put into the Archive, which are harder to delete. The RCL function is very helpful for this (in addition to making building big programs easier).
(3) Any editing change made to a program is immediate and there is no undo, so be careful. Again, make a copy.
(4) For true geekiness, check out ticalc.org. Not run by TI. (But probably more knowledgeable than TI customer service.)
I’d be more than pleased to answer any and all questions from anybody. I have a storehouse of knowledge built-up and it’s too infrequently accessed.
@phendrick Yeah, she’s not much of a pink girl. More of a let me step in the dirt and smack the ball out of the park girl. She is almost a foot taller than the boy she has a crush on. I don’t know if engineering is her favorite class because she gets to use a band saw and a miter saw or if it’s because he’s there too. Not thrilled about boys, but I’m keeping my distance.
@tinamarie1974 And now they have about four times the functionality of those 81’s, more memory, faster, can display in color, better interfaces with other devices, and their own rechargeable battery. And until very recently were about the same price as those back then. (Now about 25 - 30% higher within the last year or so.)
Some of the math teachers I worked with were
the most stubborn about not learning new stuff, but expected their students to know anything that they did.
[BTW, the 81 was the Model T of the TI graphing calculators; so you must be OLD. I.e., within 1 1/2 to 2 decades of being my age.]
I used a TI-82 in high school. A few around me had 85’s. Later on some people splurged for the 86. I never quite made sense of the model numbers. Generally the higher numbers were “better” — but they certainly weren’t chronological.
I learned assembly for the 82, though I technically never used it. So really I just read up on it enough to understand what it was all about, which was useful later in college for a single assignment (and then conceptually useful in the rest of my programming career).
I later got to move on to an HP 48GX. A completely different sort of animal robot, both in programming and in regular usage. And it could play music.
@phendrick oh I remember the first time we graphed an equation. It was unbelievable! To think a CALCULATOR could graph something out such excitemt in Ms Kochs calc/trig class that day (we were all a little geeky)
Also, you could write code, but for what I dont recall. We all wrote various programs to do whatever little things. We also realized we could just write FORMULAS in those text files too, made test day a breeze!!!
Oh, and that advice on the manual is spot on! Growing up my dad would force my sister and I to read the manual cover to cover before we could have whatever new item he purchased. If he didn’t think we actually read it he woukd quiz us , sis always failed those quizzes . First it made me knowledgeable about my new item. I MAY have schooled Ms Koch on usage of the TI-81 from reading that manual and it formed a great but annoying habit. I now do not use any new items before reading the manual.
now do not use any new items before reading the manual.
The USA ranks last on reading manuals before using something. We read them only in desperation when nothing else solves the problem. Places like, I think it is (if I recall that study correctly) Germany and Japan read the entire manual before even taking the item out of the box.
Perhaps you are actually a closet German? Or your dad was when he indoctrinated you?
I did have a scientific calculator in High School but this was such a long time ago that advanced calculators were very expensive and few places sold them and few students had them. So at the end of the text book, there were tables that you could look up values for Sin, Cos, Tan, and their Arc variants. Log10 tables were there as well. The tables only went to about 5 digits and that didn’t matter because we usually didn’t solve for irrational numbers.
For example, if the answer was sqrt(2) or cos(π/4), that’s what we would write as the answer and not reduce it any more. But if we were trying to solve for angles using opp/hyp, adj/hyp, opp/adj, and the angle was supposed to come out to an even number like 60°, 45°, or 30°, we obviously would reduce it – just not those long non-repeating irrational answers.
@cengland0 The CAS calculators out now will give you those exact answers. E.g., cos(π/4) = sqrt(2)/2, etc. (Progress, “new & improved”, etc.)
And since the CAS addition is mostly just software, the marginal cost of production hasn’t really increased (just the marketing).
The fun calculators now such as the TI nSpire II CAS, the HP Prime G2, etc., will even do closed form integrals, solve differential equations, generate Taylor series, … .
I used to use an nSpire to double-check my answer keys. It’s messy to fix (and embarrassing) to grade with a wrong answer key.
My first calculator (1960’s) for calculus and engineering classes. Answers tended to be just a little off, or off by a factor of 10. Yes, I still have it. People examine it and are totally baffled. “What the hell IS this thing?”
@capnjb Nah. That’s why I finagled run time on the mainframe computer. Readouts came with a decimal point. (Once you go digital, you never go back to analog.)
One of the local architects was famous around the time for a construction demo that (quite spectacularly) collapsed in front of a group of engineers and University bigwigs. As the rumble and the dust settled, the architect just stared at the debris for several seconds in silence, then mumbled: “Fucking decimal point!” as he stalked away.
@rockblossom I once taught in a classroom that had one on the wall for demonstration purposes. The slide rule was something like 6-8 feet long (and not nearly as heavy as it looked).
They were expensive as heck, but after their demise, I always hoped to find a used one to put on the wall of my study.
Slide rules had poor precision for answers but they were great for getting the concepts of logarithms across. So, to me at least, they were more useful for theory than for practicality.
They also made it easy to pick out the engineers and the physicists in the cafeteria.
And society today mocks those who have phones or knives on their belts.
And for the people never exposed to slide rules, to understand your anecdote, if you used a slide rule for a calculation, you had to keep track of the decimal point yourself. (0.0131 x 124.0 on a slide rule gives 162 – if your eyes were that good – , but where does the decimal point go?)
Can’t believe these things helped us put people into space.
@DerrickOlley I’ve always been a fan of combining the best of both worlds – add the latest tech, such as CAS graphing calculators or software such as geogebra.org on top of the best of the old teaching methods.
Somehow learning by rote has become anathema in grade school, but try teaching factoring polynomials to someone who doesn’t know their basic multiplication table. (I’ve had to do that, and it doesn’t work well.) I’ve also handed out tables of powers (say first to tenth, of the first 20 or so natural numbers) to students in my college-level remedial algebra classes, and told them the more of them they knew, the better off they’d be. Some would take the hint, but a lot didn’t (maybe that’s why they were in those classes.)
When they’d tell me they didn’t need to know such things, I’d retort “If you don’t know more than a calculator, why should someone hire you instead of just buying that calculator for themselves?”
@DerrickOlley@phendrick Try teaching stats to students like that right after they leave college algebra (which used to be 10th grade algebra I think and they are just avoiding the term remedial). Many walk in the door and turn their brains off. Click.
@phendrick BTW Today is my daughter’s birthday and she just opened her gifts. This was the first one and when she opened it, her eyes lit up and she says, 'OMG I was just about to ask you for one of these for Christmas."