The TI-83 Plus Scientific Calculator: A Durable, Time-Saving, Efficiency-Enhancing Mathematical Aid
G. Stolyarov II
Note from the Author: I was commissioned to write this product review by Associated Content (which subsequently became Yahoo! Voices) in 2007. The article has enjoyed some popularity and has received over 1,600 views to date. Due to the closure of Yahoo! Voices in 2014, I render this article permanently available on this page.
For over six years, I have been the proud owner of a TI-83 Plus scientific calculator from Texas Instruments. For one who does higher mathematics problems for several hours every day, the TI-83 Plus is a magnificent aid. It saves time by facilitating quick computations of anything from basic addition to definite integrals of sophisticated functions. Its screen-which can keep many lines of inputs and outputs on it at the same time-is immensely helpful for looking over one's work and revising any prior mistakes with only a few keystrokes. The TI-83 Plus also aids in the visualization of functions and their graphic analysis by allowing one to draw graphs, determine minimum, maximum, and intersection points, and find any given value along a curve.
I have found the "Ans" and "Entry" commands on the TI-83 Plus calculator to be particularly helpful in saving time. The "Ans" command, short for "Answer," allows me to re-use the last answer I got in the next expression I want to type. If my last answer was a messy decimal or irrational number, I need not retype it. Instead of nine or ten keystrokes, I only need two! The "Entry" command can replicate the entire expression entered to obtain the prior answer. If I make a careless error (such as putting a minus sign instead of a plus sign, or integrating over the wrong bounds), I can quickly correct the mistake without having to re-type my original entry.
The TI-83 Plus calculator offers other conveniences as well: it can provide the most useful statistics for one or two random variables-meaning that I do not need to manually calculate means, standard deviations, and variances. As many as ten functions can be stored on the calculator simultaneously under the "Y=" menu-after which each function can be accessed within three to four keystrokes instead of needing to be retyped. If I need to find the sum of the values of y=(ln(x)+7)cos(x)sin(x) at 0, 1, and 2, for example, I can just type in Y1=(ln(x)+7)cos(x)sin(x) under the "Y=" menu, and then enter Y1(0)+Y1(1)+Y1(2) on the main calculator screen. No need to retype the lengthy, cumbersome function for each value of x!
The only essential thing the TI-83 Plus cannot do is give outputs in terms of variables, but even with problems that require those kinds of answers, plugging in numerical values into a function can still go a long way in helping me check my work using several different methods. But for any computations where a definite numerical answer is required, the TI-83 Plus calculator is an ideal time-saving device. I have won math competitions, aced exams, and enjoyed exploring complex mathematical patterns using this handy tool.
Gennady Stolyarov II (G. Stolyarov II) is an actuary, science-fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress.
In December 2013, Mr. Stolyarov published Death is Wrong, an ambitious children’s book on life extension illustrated by his wife Wendy. Death is Wrong can be found on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
Mr. Stolyarov has contributed articles to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), The Wave Chronicle, Le Quebecois Libre, Brighter Brains Institute, Immortal Life, Enter Stage Right, Rebirth of Reason, The Liberal Institute, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
In an effort to assist the spread of rational ideas,
Mr. Stolyarov published his articles on Associated Content (subsequently
the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices) from 2007 until
Yahoo! closed this venue in 2014. Mr. Stolyarov held the highest Clout
Level (10) possible on the Yahoo! Contributor Network and was one of its
Page View Millionaires, with over 3,175,000 views. Mr. Stolyarov’s
selected writings from that era have been preserved on this page.
Mr. Stolyarov holds the professional insurance designations of Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS), Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC), Associate in Personal Insurance (API), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), Accredited Insurance Examiner (AIE), and Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF).
Mr. Stolyarov has written a science fiction novel, Eden against the Colossus, a philosophical treatise, A Rational Cosmology, a play, Implied Consent, and a free self-help treatise, The Best Self-Help is Free. You can watch his YouTube Videos.Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at email@example.com.Statement of Policy.
Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.