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Calcs with Probability Distributions
04-19-2016, 03:51 PM
Post: #1
Calcs with Probability Distributions
Hi everybody,

I'm a statistics professor, and I've long been annoyed that non-graphing scientific calculators don't have probability distribution functions. More college students take statistics than other college-level math courses, and scientific calculators have had trig functions since the 70s (absolutely useless for most students), but still no probability distributions.

Exceptions: The TI36X Pro has cumulative normal/inverse normal functions. The HP 10BII+ has cumulative and inverse normal and t-distributions. Pretty cool, but its a business calculator.

Is there any other scientific (non-graphing) calculator that does cumulative/inverse normal, t, chi-square, and F distributions????

Thanks in advance,
Scott Guth
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04-19-2016, 04:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
The WP-34s has all those and much more.
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04-19-2016, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2016 04:29 PM by sguth.)
Post: #3
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I'm looking for something that I can recommend to students.

The Wp34s is not an option for that reason.

Scott
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04-19-2016, 05:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  ...The HP 10BII+ has cumulative and inverse normal and t-distributions. Pretty cool, but its a business calculator.

Is there any other scientific (non-graphing) calculator that does cumulative/inverse normal, t, chi-square, and F distributions????

Why is the 10BII+ a bad choice for Statistics students? Are they (in your school) by definition not business majors? FYI - the 10BII+ also includes many scientific functions, trig, hyperbolics, etc. Though it is Algebraic...

The HP-35S does not have these built-in, but they can be easily added with custom programs. The manual devotes a whole chapter to this as well. Just a couple months ago a very long and detailed thread ran here developing programs for many distributions (I believe all you mentioned plus others).

Here is one message in that thread with sample programs and instructions: http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-500...l#pid46500

--Bob Prosperi
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04-19-2016, 06:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
CASIO fx-991DEX does the job nicely.
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04-19-2016, 06:58 PM
Post: #6
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 04:28 PM)sguth Wrote:  Sorry, I should have mentioned that I'm looking for something that I can recommend to students.

The Wp34s is not an option for that reason.

Scott

How about the free WP-34s software that's available for the smartphones/tablets they all no doubt have? Granted, none of those would be suitable for an exam situation, but it's a reasonable option otherwise.

There's also the HP 21S, though it being several decades out of production makes it a little hard to come by.
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04-19-2016, 07:15 PM
Post: #7
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 06:58 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  How about the free WP-34s software that's available for the smartphones/tablets they all no doubt have? Granted, none of those would be suitable for an exam situation, but it's a reasonable option otherwise.

Only for iOS and not for Android...I'd love to be wrong on this.

Jake
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04-19-2016, 08:01 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2016 08:05 PM by Hlib.)
Post: #8
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  Hi everybody,

I'm a statistics professor...
Scott Guth

For your job you should have also graphic calcs. For the question - FX-9850GB plus, TI-83plus. It is not costly.
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04-19-2016, 08:03 PM
Post: #9
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  Is there any other scientific (non-graphing) calculator that does cumulative/inverse normal, t, chi-square, and F distributions????

Not scientific, but has trigs, logs and
all of the above four cumulative function is available
+ Binomial
+ 7 regression model
+ programmable:

HP 30b

(and fast as hell Wink )

Csaba
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04-19-2016, 08:07 PM
Post: #10
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  I'm a statistics professor, and I've long been annoyed that non-graphing scientific calculators don't have probability distribution functions. More college students take statistics than other college-level math courses, and scientific calculators have had trig functions since the 70s (absolutely useless for most students), but still no probability distributions.

Absolutely. Statistical distributions are used in many, if not most social sciences, and I think they should be available on every decent calculator. I never understood why this is not the case – maybe because implementing these functions is much less trivial than a log or hyperbolic sine.

(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  Is there any other scientific (non-graphing) calculator that does cumulative/inverse normal, t, chi-square, and F distributions????

The 20B and 30B will calculate all these four major continuous distributions and their inverses, as well as the Binomial distribution. Although they are business oriented calculators, they also offer the common transdendental functions of their "scientific" counterparts (trig, log, powers, exponentials, even hyperbolics). And some more, like combinations and permutations, factorials, and even the Gamma function.

You could download the manual from HP's website and take a look at pp. 19...23 for an overview.

Dieter
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04-19-2016, 08:23 PM
Post: #11
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 07:15 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  
(04-19-2016 06:58 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  How about the free WP-34s software that's available for the smartphones/tablets they all no doubt have? Granted, none of those would be suitable for an exam situation, but it's a reasonable option otherwise.

Only for iOS and not for Android...I'd love to be wrong on this.

Jake

Wow, that's as surprising as it is baffling. I suppose the iOS users can run it, at least.
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04-19-2016, 08:36 PM
Post: #12
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 03:51 PM)sguth Wrote:  Exceptions: The TI36X Pro has cumulative normal/inverse normal functions. The HP 10BII+ has cumulative and inverse normal and t-distributions. Pretty cool, but its a business calculator.

Is there any other scientific (non-graphing) calculator that does cumulative/inverse normal, t, chi-square, and F distributions????
Thanks in advance,
Scott Guth


Gene: Hello Scott! Is there a reason to exclude the 10BII+ calculator? Business it is, but if you are not going graphing scientific, what scientific functions is the 10BII+ lacking that would really be essential to a non-business student?

As mentioned, it has the usual trig in degress and radians, hyperbolics, logs, exponential functions. It has chain and algrebraic logic. It has factorials, permutations, combinations. It has a very good regression model with 4 fits, has normal, inverse normal, t and inverse t distributions. Mean, weighted mean, standard deviation, correlation, and percent/percent change.

I think that makes a good scientific calculator. It does not have base conversions, but that's a pretty limited application, IMO.

But I am curious. What scientific function(s) is mission that the competition has that is essential beyond these?

thanks and good day.
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04-20-2016, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 04-20-2016 12:41 PM by Dieter.)
Post: #13
RE: Calcs with Probability Distributions
(04-19-2016 08:36 PM)Gene Wrote:  Gene: Hello Scott! Is there a reason to exclude the 10BII+ calculator?

As far as I can see the 10BII+ only features the Normal and Student's t distribution, but not Chi² and Fisher's F.
Which leaves us with the 20B/30B that will do all four.

Dieter
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