University calculators
12-18-2018, 10:09 PM (This post was last modified: 12-23-2018 11:32 PM by edryer.)
Post: #1
 edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013
University calculators
Interestingly I was scanning a few UK University sites such as Imperial (a world class University on par with Oxford/Cambridge in the UK), Edinburgh and Herriot Watt Universities amongst others and found that they all recommend even now in 2018, that the Calculator of choice and the only ones permitted in Maths/Science exams are the Casio FX-85WA (preferred) and a few FX-83/85's of other variants.

I researched a little and see it was launched in 1998 for £8.75 (likely around $12 then) and was only recently withdrawn, so a twenty year stretch.... Anyway I purchased one used for £2.50 (+£1.50 postage) = well under$10.... and it has arrived... I started doing some simple Matrix determinants/inverses/arithmetic by hand... 2x2 simple transformations.... I now know why I prefer the HP-50G!!

Interestingly it has dedicated non-shifted x to the three and cubed root keys.

It seems for advanced Maths degrees at leading Universities they make you think.... nothing beyond basic Algebra/Trig/Statistics functions. yes, enough I am sure, but what work!

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HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
12-18-2018, 11:04 PM
Post: #2
 BruceH Senior Member Posts: 319 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
It's an anti-cheating measure as I'm sure you're aware. My son is studying Linguistics so doesn't need a calculator at all, but he is limited to the same choices. Anything more powerful and students could potentially store cheat notes in them.
12-19-2018, 08:56 AM
Post: #3
 rkf Member Posts: 65 Joined: Apr 2014
RE: University calculators
Haha, when my daughter was studying for her joined Mathematics and Linguistics degree at the University of York, out of my big calculator collection (mostly HP and TI) only a Canon F-788dx got the faculty sticker on it!
12-19-2018, 09:19 AM
Post: #4
 grsbanks Senior Member Posts: 1,207 Joined: Jan 2017
RE: University calculators
(12-18-2018 11:04 PM)BruceH Wrote:  It's an anti-cheating measure as I'm sure you're aware. My son is studying Linguistics so doesn't need a calculator at all, but he is limited to the same choices. Anything more powerful and students could potentially store cheat notes in them.

It's also an unwillingness on the part of old dogs to learn new tricks. A machine such as the HP Prime in exam mode would also prevent students from bringing crib sheets into the exam, but it's a whole new technology for invigilators to learn about.
12-19-2018, 09:36 AM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2018 09:37 AM by rkf.)
Post: #5
 rkf Member Posts: 65 Joined: Apr 2014
RE: University calculators
(12-19-2018 09:19 AM)grsbanks Wrote:  ... unwillingness on the part of old dogs to learn new tricks. ...

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
You can't teach a cat at all.
I'm an old cat.

SCNR.
12-19-2018, 09:38 AM
Post: #6
 Maximilian Hohmann Senior Member Posts: 841 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
Hello!

(12-18-2018 10:09 PM)edryer Wrote:  It seems for advanced Maths degrees ...

I always thought anyway that mathematicians do not need/use calculators. They provide the theory, but they don't do the calculations.

Regards
Max
12-19-2018, 10:28 AM
Post: #7
 DA74254 Member Posts: 156 Joined: Sep 2017
RE: University calculators
(12-19-2018 09:38 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

(12-18-2018 10:09 PM)edryer Wrote:  It seems for advanced Maths degrees ...

I always thought anyway that mathematicians do not need/use calculators. They provide the theory, but they don't do the calculations.

Regards
Max

Same goes for (professional) astronomers. They can't point out a single constellation, but they know, down to 1 second precision, the age of a mag 23 star a gwenzillion hectoparsecs away

Esben
28s, 35s, 49G+, 50G, Prime G1 HW A, Prime G2 HW D, SwissMicros DM42
Elektronika MK-52 & MK-61
12-19-2018, 11:22 AM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2018 11:27 AM by edryer.)
Post: #8
 edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
(12-19-2018 08:56 AM)rkf Wrote:  Haha, when my daughter was studying for her joined Mathematics and Linguistics degree at the University of York, out of my big calculator collection (mostly HP and TI) only a Canon F-788dx got the faculty sticker on it!

That is not one bad calculator )) It can do Matrix and Vector arithmetic, Integration/Differentiation and Complex numbers!

Lucky that one passed!

Quote:I always thought anyway that mathematicians do not need/use calculators. They provide the theory, but they don't do the calculations.

Very rarely do I use a calculator much with Algebra, unless it is a series of monotonous steps, such as with Matrices, Trig obviously needed... but I think you are right, with a lot of symbolic manipulation at a higher level much need for a calculator is superfluous. I went through an entire Computer Science degree with some Maths without using a Calculator once!

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
12-19-2018, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2018 03:10 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #9
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,067 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: University calculators
(12-19-2018 09:38 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  I always thought anyway that mathematicians do not need/use calculators. They provide the theory, but they don't do the calculations.

If they do symbolic manipulations yes (or theorems). But more often than not to get an idea of a pattern to prove there is a lot of number crunching involved.

I had your similar view in the past: "Mathematicians" (with the capital M) do not need numerical computations. Well after reading here and there different biographies, I realized that the idea is quite wrong across all centuries. For example Kepler formalized the laws of planetary motions after studying a ton on recorded data (so kudos to whom collects data, double checks it and store it properly) by Tycho Brahe and others.
Napier spent years, literally years, compiling mathematical tables and publishing them only later.

If you dig in biographies you see that for some (or most?) or theoretical formalization a lot of numerical attempts are done. And this is understandable, you need to plug the numbers (or at least the symbols) to recognize the pattern.

Impressive how the attitude changed over time thanks to social media. Nowadays it seems that people publish their findings asap (at least the ones that are not in the academia), in the past people did a lot of works that risked to be unpublished. For me it is difficult to accept that someone is going to compute mathematical tables for 10+ years in an era were the life expectancy is 40 or less. I wonder how much hard work was lost due to work that lasted too long compared to the life of the person that was doing it.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
12-19-2018, 12:45 PM
Post: #10
 Maximilian Hohmann Senior Member Posts: 841 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
Hello!

(12-19-2018 12:11 PM)pier4r Wrote:  I wonder how much hard work was lost due to work that lasted too long compared to the life of the person that was doing it.

It's better not to think about that... On the other hand, Kepler for example never got paid for doing astronomical science. He earned his living as an astrologer which in his days meant doing tedious manual calculations day after day. His astronomical observations were required to provide the necessary input. In his spare time he calculated and published astronomical tables also, but there was no way he could make a living from that alone. Later in his life he even had a calculating machine made for himself by Wilhelm Schickard (a replica of which can be seen in the museum in "my" town where both of them spent part/all of their lifes). Unfortunaltely that machine was destroyed by fire before it could be delivered to Kepler, otherwise he may have solved some cosmic mysteries in the extra spare time it would have provided for him :-)

Myself I had to use the calculator (Ti59) a lot during my first two years at university (aerospace eng.). But not in the math courses, mostly in the laboratory practicums where we had to take measurements and evaluate the results. Calculator usage became less and less important after that and I can't remember touching it at all during the ph.d. years. But then we had proper computers to work with.

Regards
Max
12-19-2018, 03:15 PM
Post: #11
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,067 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: University calculators
Little observation: for my experience the university should convey the theory of science, with less focus on numerical works. As there is not enough time to cover everything.
Once one is alone in the field, unless he is working with symbolic manipulations, then it should be normal that numerical computations happen more often.

Plus one can crunch numbers even at the Uni (as far as I remember) if one wants to do it in his study sessions.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
12-20-2018, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 12-20-2018 07:30 PM by SlideRule.)
Post: #12
 SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 1,287 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
My reticence to contribute to this thread has abated (perhaps to my detriment), so …
a) analytical vs numerical former is less 'calculator' dependent than the latter
b) integer vs decimal ALL integers have infinite precision whereas …
c) units of measurement
d) rate functions

A: has the calculator degenerated into a crutch - strong indications this statement is more than an observation (ie. has valdity).
B: I use integer math almost exclusively and resort to decimal math predominately for either convenience or simplicity {related to d)}
C: my physical Science (B.S.) / Civil Engineer(B.S.) education was replete with UNIT analysis for nearly ALL my computations / calculations {time, mass etc.}
D: rate functions and engineering analysis are nearly synonymous.

The calculator is adminicle to analysis and should follow, not precede, an initial estimation of a calculation / computation. I seldom put to record a computation in the same manner as I deploy to verify / quantify that computation, especially with the assistance of a calculator.

rebuttals / alibis /thoughts welcome!

BEST!
SlideRule
12-20-2018, 11:08 PM
Post: #13
 edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
Quote:The calculator is adminicle to analysis and should follow, not precede, an initial estimation of a calculation / computation

Indeed totally agree.

In my post here http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-933...#pid108354

You will see I wrote: It is an unusual book in that it encourages you actually use a Calculator throughout whilst simultaneously attempting to second-guess a rough answer mentally.

I was writing about an old (1980) book on Calculator usage in Algebra and trigonometry where the author heavily emphasises that one should work out an approximation in your head/on paper before even touching the calculator.

Throughout the 550+ page book he reminds and encourages that this should always be the case!

Regards

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
12-21-2018, 01:44 PM
Post: #14
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,067 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: University calculators
(12-20-2018 11:08 PM)edryer Wrote:  I was writing about an old (1980) book on Calculator usage in Algebra and trigonometry where the author heavily emphasises that one should work out an approximation in your head/on paper before even touching the calculator.

Throughout the 550+ page book he reminds and encourages that this should always be the case!

Regards
Thanks for the reminder! Also could it be that he encouraged to do so coming from slide rules?

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
12-21-2018, 10:52 PM (This post was last modified: 12-21-2018 10:52 PM by edryer.)
Post: #15
 edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
Quote:Thanks for the reminder! Also could it be that he encouraged to do so coming from slide rules?

Quite possibly I'd imagine, the book published in 1980 must have been written during the late 70's and the Calculators he recommends (the HP-31E amongst them) was I believe introduced in 1978.

He also states the book makes a lot of use of graphing, where a calculator would be of no use.... little did he know ))))

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
12-22-2018, 07:53 PM
Post: #16
 Csaba Tizedes Senior Member Posts: 485 Joined: May 2014
RE: University calculators
Which calculator is available now with SOLVE function?
Maybe best to select an older CASIO for university? Which older CASIOs has SOLVE?
12-22-2018, 08:41 PM
Post: #17
 SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 1,287 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
(12-22-2018 07:53 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  Which calculator is available now with SOLVE function? Maybe best to select an older CASIO for university? Which older CASIOs has SOLVE?

I gravitate towards the fx-115ES PLUS @ ≈ $12ºº. BEST! Slide 12-22-2018, 09:24 PM Post: #18  edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: University calculators Or even the 991EX...$20 or so maximum... it is an extremely impressive calculator, includes 4x4 Matrices, Vectors, Solve, Complex numbers... I also just ordered one to use for Linear Algebra on the move where I don't want to take the heavy big 50G.

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
12-23-2018, 07:34 AM
Post: #19
 Csaba Tizedes Senior Member Posts: 485 Joined: May 2014
RE: University calculators
(12-22-2018 09:24 PM)edryer Wrote:  Or even the 991EX

I have a 991DEX, I guess this version has a system bug: it cannot generate readable QR code for graphs, unfortunately I cannot use this function (I have posts about this in another topic).

I found a 991ms for \$6+free shipping from India this evening - as I can see in the manual, this version also a well designed unit.
12-23-2018, 07:07 PM (This post was last modified: 12-23-2018 11:30 PM by edryer.)
Post: #20
 edryer Member Posts: 132 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: University calculators
I think the 991 (D) EX was/is aimed at the pre University Mathematics market (mostly High Schools).

As such regional variations of the Calculator exist restricting various functionality after negotiations with various educational authorities.

This is more of a new thing I think with modern School calculators, firmware is modified depending on market, in Casio's case D Germany, AU Australia and so on... these are then appended to the model number somehow such as:

FX-991E X (International English Version)
FX-991?? X (Australian version, some restrictions apparently) - not sure on this model
FX-991DE X (Germany) - this apparently has more functions in firmware than the 991E X such as GCD/LCM/Int/Intg shifted functions on the keyboard (and as you say, Graphing export restrictions)
FX-991CN X (China) - Chinese keyboard
FX-JP900 (Japanese variant of 991) - Japanese Keyboard

On another note I am using a FX-85WA which is a (1998) 2-line Basic Scientific and find it a nice calculator, but it lacks anything beyond basic scientific functions, when the 991EX comes it will be interesting to compare them.

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
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