Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
02-08-2020, 01:34 PM
Post: #1
 SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 1,324 Joined: Dec 2013
Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
The title of a four page (pgs. 2-5) article in Applied Ergonomics 1980, 11.1, 2-6 presented here for archive persuants'.

Tests of an Algebraic Notation Calculator and a Reverse Polish Notation Calculator showed the latter to be superior in terms of calculation speed, particularly for subjects with a technical background. The differences measured were shown not to be due to differences in calculation speed of the calculators nor to differences in dexterity between the subjects.

BEST!
SlideRule
02-08-2020, 10:16 PM
Post: #2
 Felix Gross Junior Member Posts: 43 Joined: Apr 2014
RE: Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
This is a very interesting paper indeed. Thanks SlideRule. Keep those reference coming.

The paper makes the further statements (not that surprising for people in this forum):

"The difference observed between the AN [algebraic notation] and the RPN calculations showed a clear superiority in speed and accuracy in favour of the RPN calculator, statistically significant even with the modest sample sizes used."

"In terms of practical choice between calculators, it would appear that RPN is faster and more accurate overall but particularly for technical users and particularly for more complex problems."

Felix
02-08-2020, 10:40 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2020 10:41 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #3
 Maximilian Hohmann Senior Member Posts: 961 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
Hello!

I must say that I am not impressed at all. They compare a primitive "algebraic" calculator with no parentheses to an HP-35, a four-stack RPN calculator. It takes some creativity to solve the problems given at all with such a simple algebraic calculator. I would attribute extra points to the subjects for that...
This article was published in 1980. They could at least have compared calculators which were then state-of-the art. Ti made AOS calculators long before that date.

Regards
Max
02-09-2020, 01:19 PM
Post: #4
 pinkman Senior Member Posts: 403 Joined: Mar 2018
RE: Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
I’ve always been on the RP[N|L] side since I discovered its usage.
But the Prime opened my eyes to the textbook notation and its strong benefit: verification.

When I was a student, I always double checked the calculations, doing them twice on my 28s, and/or storing intermediate results.
Now with the Prime I only read carefully.
If the formula is small, it is at the benefit of RP[N|L].
For a long formula, textbook is better, even if I absolutely dislike parenthesis!

Regards.
02-11-2020, 11:57 AM
Post: #5
 Wes Loewer Senior Member Posts: 352 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: Electronic Calculators: which notation is the better?
(02-09-2020 01:19 PM)pinkman Wrote:  I’ve always been on the RP[N|L] side since I discovered its usage.
But the Prime opened my eyes to the textbook notation and its strong benefit: verification.

Years ago, there was an RPN app for the TI-89 calculator which gave you the best of both worlds. As you entered your values, the intermediate results would show up on the right hand side like usual, but the left hand side would show the algebraic equation that had been built thus far.

So if a=1, b=2, c=-3, then entering:
b NEG b 2 ^ 4 a * c * - √ + 2 a * /
it would show:

 « Next Oldest | Next Newest »

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)