Calculator for Computer Science and Engineering at MIT

<p>Hi Everyone,
I'm currently preparing for SAT Math Level II, and I faced problem with choosing calculator. I already did some research and I believe TI-84 Plus Silver Edition will be the best choice for the test.
However ... I'm trying to get to MIT and I'm just thinking which calculator is recommended in Computer Science and Engineering classes. Is here anybody who study/studied there?
I don't want to waste too much money for calculator, I'm from Poland and prices of these calculators are just amazing :(</p>

<p>Thanks in advance !</p>

<p>There’s not a whole lot of plug-and-chug in MIT math classes - it’s more theoretical. I think I used my calculator a little for one class at MIT, and then basically never used it again.</p>

<p>A TI-84 Plus Silver Edition is fine. Mostly because it comes with Block Dude, which I played all through AP Calculus :P</p>

<p>Wow I did not expect such a fast answer. I’m going to buy TI84 plus silver. Thanks! I really appreciate your help.</p>

<p>No problem! :slight_smile: </p>

<p>The TI-84 is a good calculator for engineering. The only reason to choose a different one in my opinion is if you want to use reverse Polish notation, where you type in the operator (e.g., plus sign) after the operands (e.g., what you are adding.) </p>

<p>Just so it’s clear, you can’t use such an advanced calculator on the SAT math. In fact, I thought it didn’t allow a calculator, but maybe I’m wrong about that.</p>

<p>@collegealum314‌, I’m not sure if you’re referring to the TI-84 or a Polish calculator, but I think either should be fine for the exam?</p>

<p><a href=“http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy”>http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy</a></p>

<p>@collegealum314, do you have any suggestions which should I take then? I don’t really care about Polish notation, because I’m going to get to university in USA, and I want to make sure that these calculator is popular there, to make things easier.
However as @PiperXP‌ said I read that graphical calculators are not only allowed but strongly recommended.</p>

<p>Reverse Polish notation is weird, but some people are used to it. </p>

<p>The TI-84 is a great calculator. That is what I would recommend.</p>

<p>I have one more question, I just noticed that TI-84 Plus Silver Edition was manufactured in 2004 and I checked prices and the newer one’s like TI-Nspire CX cost pretty much the same, however they look better. What do you think about them? Do you have any experience with using them(in MIT or in test)?</p>

<p>I’m sorry I just would like to buy the best one for smallest price :)</p>

<p>Again, you won’t be using it all that much at MIT :stuck_out_tongue: </p>

<p>Yea, I only used my calculator for GIRs. At one point it stopped working and I just used Google.</p>

<p>Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) has nothing to do with Poland (or any other country). It is a different order/method of entering the numbers and operands when using the calculator. It is primarily used on HP calculators. Many older engineers, like myself, grew up using HP calculators and therefore got very used to RPN. I find it much easier and more intuitive when using a calculator, but it does take some getting used to initially. For that reason, it is somewhat a dying operating system for a calculator. Too many people just don’t want to learn how to use it. I thought I read once that HP was phasing it out but I could be wrong on that one.</p>

<p>Once you do learn how to use RPN, you will find the algebraic entry system (like that of the TI) to be very frustrating.</p>

<p>You should read the policy and guidelines for calculators for testing at : <a href=“http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy”>http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy</a></p>

<p>As a professional engineer, I used to use a calculator a lot many years ago but it’s usage has been replaced with a variety of PC based tools. I would imagine that the same holds true at MIT.
There is even an HP emulator for Windows that uses RPN that I use to do simple calculations more than my actual calculator these days.</p>

<p>I’m course 18-C (math w/ computer science) and so far I’ve only used my TI-NSpire for GIR’s (mostly 5.111). I’ll often use Google or WolframAlpha as a calculator, or sometimes write a short Python script for harder problems (e.g. recently, checking the smallest solution to a tricky Diophantine equation).</p>

<p>Okay, thanks everyone! I finally bought TI-NSpire CX because it was cheaper than TI-84 Plus Silver Edition.
I hop it will be useful :)</p>