Graphing Calculator Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacFan25863, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #1
    Ok, so here is the deal:

    Ever since my 8th grade year (when I took Geometry), I've used my trusty Ti-84 Plus Silver Edition graphing calculator. Now that I've finished Pre-Calculus, and am going into AP Calculus and AP Physics, I'm thinking it could be time to upgrade. I've been looking a lot at the Ti-89 Titanium Edition, which has some nice 3D graphing and algebra functions. My sister is going into Geometry next year, so I would give her my old 84.

    Only problem with this is that the 89 doesn't have the same commonality with the Ti-83 that the 84 does, so I would have to translate any instructions my math teacher gives us to work on the 89. There are other people I know who use 89s, though, and they have no issues with it.

    Anyone here know enough about graphing calculators to tell me if its a good idea to get the 89, or should I just keep my 84 and get my sister either an 83 or an 84?

    Thanks!
     
  2. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #2
    Try talking to your teacher to see what's expected for your class.
     
  3. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

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    Jun 20, 2004
    #3
    A Ti-83 will be fine for the class...I'm looking more to what I may need in the future, and if the additional features of the Ti-89 will help me out at all this year.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    Definitely the 89. I have had mine for 6 years starting in 10th grade and I use it so much. Very nice once you go to college, especially in a field such as engineering. Heck, the 89 has built in calc fuctions that are really convienent.

    As far as instructions your teacher gives dont worry about it. Anything a 83 can do an 89 can do plus more. Plus you always have the manual which is nice just in case.

    The fact that you can scroll up and down in the window in the 89 is super nice as well as its ability to display equations and problems as you would see in the textbook. Ever try to graph a long equation on an 83 with all the parenthesis? It's a pain to check to see if you got them all. The 89 will show you if you did it right by how the fuction will be displayed. Yea go 89 and don't worry about it, well worth it now and in college
     
  5. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    California
    #5
    For most of my classes in college, I had to make do with a scientific calculator for tests. Sometimes, you weren't even allowed to use one. Just warning you in advance.

    A TI-89 should serve you well though for the time being, not trying to rain on your parade or anything. :D

    And don't worry about needing commonality with a TI-83.
    You could probably make up for the bad instructions given enough experience with an 89.
     
  6. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #6
    For the maths subject I did in high school, I had to use a TI89. I'd used the TI83s a little bit previously and there is a pretty big difference in how you use them but essentially if the 83 could do it so can the 89. I think you really need to check with your teacher if you can use a CAS based calculator because they are capable of so much more.
     
  7. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #7
    I used a Ti85 when I was in high-school and never used half the functions. From then on, it was a basic scientific calculator (Casio fx-92) for University. Graphing calculators are handy but do not improve your math/physics skills. If you can do the work with the most expensive/feature-rich calculator, then you can also do them with the cheaper/less feature-rich ones too. ;)

    Bare in mind that I studied in France for a Baccalauréat specialised in math and went on to do an earth science degree with lots of geophysics. I stress France, because we do a s*** load of math over here!

    So my advice is: get the minimum required/recommended calculator and get yourself something nice with the money you save. :)
     
  8. sebisworld macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2003
    #8
    I love my TI 89!

    I have used it extensively in the States along with others who used the TI 83, and there was no problem at all. The 89 is a lot more intuitive and easier to use, so there should not be anything to worry about, expect those games that eat a ton of batteries.
     
  9. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #9
    At some points during my AP Calc BC course and AP Physics courses the teachers would not let those students with TI-89's use them because for certain things it represented an unfair advantage. Also all of the instructions were given for the TI -83 (the required calc for the course) and it had more than enough power for the things at that level.

    I don't really see the need in buying yourself an 89 at this point if the classes you're taking don't require it. You may also be hindered in college depending on what your professors use. don't jump the gun, doesn't seem like theres a need for this upgrade.
     
  10. mc68k macrumors 68000

    mc68k

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    Apr 16, 2002
    #10
    the ti-89 has summations, integrals, and derviatives displayed in a really nice-looking format. you can use these to check your work on a test or if the answer is not in the back of the book.

    if you are looking to do math in college then the 89 is perfect for advanced calculus or physics. my 2nd semester college calc course required one.

    also if you are into loading useful compiled programs and games from a computer onto it with a link cable, then the 89 has a much more powerful processor for graphics (a 68k proc i believe) and more memory then the 83 or 84.

    it does depend on ur teacher a lot though. most are from the 'old school' and despise technology, even though thats what u will most likely use outside of an educational environment.
     
  11. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    Sep 6, 2005
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    CO
    #11
    Ditto - I recommend sticking with the 83. My friends who had an 89 had a harder time getting using the calculator along with the teacher, and they had to borrow an 83 every time we took a test anyway.

    I'm going to CO School of Mines, so I might purchase an 89 down the road...for now, though, I'm perfectly content with my 84 :).
     
  12. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #12
    Hmm...lots of mixed opinions.

    I know there is no problem with using the 89 in class, because there are other people that have them and have never had a problem with it.

    It's only $15 more than an 84 at WalMart, so the price isn't so much an issue.


    When I see one of my friends this week, I'll play around with their 89 and see if its something I like or not.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  13. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

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    Apr 18, 2004
    #13
    In my first year of college, I used the same calculator I had been using since 7th grade... My trusty Ti-32. :)
     
  14. DaveP macrumors 6502

    DaveP

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    Mar 18, 2005
    #14
    I think it depends on what you plan on doing in college. If you plan on going into engineering (particularly mech E/Aerospace, and EE to some degree) you could certainly make use of some of the more advanced functionality. Howver, as others have posted it certainly isn't neccessary. Some people make do with just a scientific calculator.

    As far as high school, the point is learn how to do things not as much just find the solution. I did have a friend who got a TI-89 when they first came out and he didn't actually know calculus too well because he always just used his calculator. But as others have said, you should have no problem figuring out how to do things. Just toss the manual in your bag and you should be set. If I were you, I would definitely get the 89. Just my opinion.
     
  15. atticus1178 macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2006
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    Austin, Texas
    #15
    I've been running a trusty TI-83 Plus since the 6th grade (that makes about 8 years now).

    It put me through all my classes of AP Physics, AP Calculus 1 and 2, and Trig.

    I also had to use it last semester at college for Astronomy.

    So I think whatever you choose should be fine.
     
  16. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    #16
     
  17. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #17
    Well, my sister needs a graphing calculator for next year, so we are going to be buying a new one anyway. She said she doesn't mind using my old one, so I was going to get an 89 for myself to use instead of just buying another 84.
     
  18. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #18
    I have the 89 and it's great. It is easy to 'translate' the instructions from the 83 to the 89, just keep your manual handy.

    Just don't rely on the calculator too much though. In the last college math course I took, we weren't allowed to use calculators on tests, and when we were allowed, it was usually just cheap $2 calculators.

    I learned that the hard way. :(
     
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #19
    What does France have to do with a field of study using more math??? I dont see the connection my friend. I think math usage is pretty equivalent in similar majors around the world. I mean its not like the US has the only math based engineering out there while every other country is learning engineering through playdough lol.

    As for the difference in price, I think it is like 30-40 bucks for a much better calculator going from an 83 (now 84 I believe to an 89). Also, there are some things you have to do on a calculator that a basic calculator cant do. Such as graphing and finding max/mins of functions and so on. Last time I checked, a scientific calc cant graph. So no your claim that you can do anything on a cheaper calc as you can on a more expensive one is nonsense.

    For any engineering or applied or theoretical science major, get the 89 you will be glad you did. If you are going into business or art or something yea dont get an 89 lol
     
  20. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I am going to go agaist the grain and tell you that you should not get a TI-89 yet.
    The reasoning being is that it is to powerful for you leval of math you are at. It will be to much of a cruch and you just will not learn the precal yet. A lot of college are starting to ban all calculators in calculas classes because they are 2 powerful and the students are not learning the consepts they are just learning how to put it though the caculator.

    I believe a person should not get an 89 or better until after cal 1. After that I going to recomend the TI-89 or Voyager 200. I love my voyager 200 and it does make a lot of my work a lot easier at school and yeah I do use it to do a lot of calculus work but I am one class short of my math minor already and I do know my calculus. I do use it upper level stuff but it because I not being tested on that material and I dont have the time any more to do it all by hand but as I said before I already have 15 hours of math (6 of which is jr leval)


    I going to say keep you 84 until after you get though cal 1. It will be better in the long run and you will learn the matterial better with out having the crutch of the 89.
     
  21. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #21

    True, my calc 3 and diffy q class I took 3 years ago did not allow for calculators at all. But..... in physics and statics dynamics and pretty much any other engineering class, a calculator is required for the most part. Granted you can get by with an 84 but the features of an 89 are extremely handy for me, heck just the pretty text makes all the difference in my opinion
     
  22. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #22

    there no arguing that point. I love my voyager 200 for those classes and it made my life a lot easier but those class came after Cal I any how. And because of that fact it has no effect on my opinan on some one should not get an 89 or better until after Cal I (all the classes you listed one of there pre recs is either cal I or Cal II (a few even Cal III)
     
  23. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #23
    True, they all require calc as a pre req. So the question is buy an overfeatured one now for your needs that you will grow into the functionalities or buy one now and one later potentially. If it were me, I'd spend the extra 14 dollars and have one for a very long time
     
  24. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #24

    but you see he already owns the 84 so the entire cost is extra. Plus I still find uses for having my old TI-86. Normally used as a back up calculator (or a 2nd set of battery when the Vorager 200 one die during a test). But I do still use it from time to time and keep it around. I find any one who needs an 89 or use it quite a bit still will find them selves using there old one from time to time and the old one makes a great back-up.

    That being said I also recomend having something like a ti-36 for when the grapher are banned and as a cheap calculator to get bang up (plus it is one of like 4 calculators approved for the FE-exam)
     
  25. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

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    Jun 20, 2004
    #25

    Yeah, but as I said earlier, I have to buy a new one no matter what, so the question is to go for the 84 or the 89.

    And yeah, I have a Ti-36 Solar (or something like that) that I used in my chemistry class last year and for times when I can't use my graphing calculator.

    Not being able to do the math without the calculator is not really an issue for me, I've always done very well in math and can solve an equation by myself without a calculator with no issue. The calculator just lets me shave time and focus on more important things (I always like to at least try and go over the test, or at least the hard problems, at least twice, and using a calculator helps me with that).

    I think I'm going to go with the 89. If anything, the extra $14 will be worth being able to play all the cool games that are out for it :D.
     

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