Calculators have been a mainstay of the mathematics classroom for over 30 years. The complexity of their use has grown to accommodate the various branches of mathematics, such as chemistry, physics, and algebra. The big question has been “Are calculators helpful?” and that would be a resounding “Yes!” from students everywhere. Knowing how to solve complex equations by hand is an extremely useful and valuable skill. However, calculators help us solve the same problems much quicker, and we can verify the results of our hand written work with higher accuracy.
The most basic of mathematics, algebra, has used calculators for quite some time now. Most teachers recommend graphing calculators for algebra classes. Cut The Knot states that algebra is the branch of mathematics that deals with properties of operations and the structures those operations are defined on. You might be familiar with the letters used to define variables, such as “x” and “y.”
Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education has a report on the positive use of graphing calculators in algebra classes. Graphing calculators can now help us with several types of algebraic problems such as linear equations, linear inequalities, simultaneous equations, and quadratic equations.
To learn more, visit Maxima Online: Free online algebra calculator.
Annenberg Learner says that geometry –earth measuring- is the attempt to understand space, shape, and dimension. Geometry branched out during the age of explorers to map where they have been and for landowners to determine the boundaries of their holdings. This mathematics branch continues to evolve, even today.
If you are taking a geometry class, you will most likely use a graphing calculator. This calculator is extremely useful to determine shapes.
You can find online geometry calculators at Online Calculator Free: Calculators for geometry.
Trigonometry is the study of the properties of triangles. According to the University of Arkansas, in the 16th century, trigonometry was developed because it was realized that the Earth was not the center of the universe. This type of mathematics was created to plot the positions of the stars and planets.
The type of calculator you would use to solve most trigonometry problems would be a scientific calculator. The first scientific calculator was a Hewlett Packard 55 calculator in the 1970s. Now, all big companies such as Casio and Texas Instruments make scientific calculators at a reasonable cost. Open Learn has some trigonometry examples you can try on your calculator.
For more calculators, visit:
- Solve Math Problems: Trigonometry calculators
- 1728: Ultimate triangle calculator
Graphing calculators are used to plot graphs with numerous equations. The large screen makes it possible to display many lines of text, and they can be programmable for engineering and education applications. Casio was the first to create a graphing calculator in 1985, which included an icon menu, graphing in colors, and expandable memory. The company Sharp created their own graphing calculator in 1986 and included models with touch screens. Other companies followed suit with their own versions. Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments were among them.
Graphing calculators are used for solving equations, playing games, and creating pictures.
To learn more, go to:
- Geogebra: Online Graphing Calculator
- TiCalc: Graphing Calculators and How to Buy
Chemistry is the science that describes physical properties, composition, structures, and reactions of matter. LibreTexts by the National Science Foundation gives us a brief history of the science of chemistry. Ancient Greeks began trying to explain chemical changes in what they observed. Only four basic elements were thought to be in existence: earth, air, fire, and water. In the 4th century BC, the concept of atoms was introduced but was unable to be tested, due to the lack of technology to do so.
Alchemists greatly advanced chemistry in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The main goal was converting certain elements into others. Modern chemistry came about in the 16th-17th centuries.
If you need a calculator for class, you will most like use a scientific calculator. However, there are many online calculators to solve various aspects of chemistry. You can find the links below:
- Colorado State University: Chemical equilibrium calculation
- Colby College: Uncertainty calculator
- Illinois University: Mechanism calculator
- Web QC Chemistry Portal: Calculators and converters for chemistry
According to Columbia University, Physics is the study of matter and energy, and how they relate to each other over time and space. Physics covers such studies as astronomy, cosmology, and nuclear energy.
CalcTool.org shows that there are several types of calculators that are used to determine acceleration, ballistics, buoyancy, centrifugal force, centripetal force, collision, conversion, deceleration, density, displacement, free-falling objects, and so on. The list is endless! If you were using a calculator for class, a scientific calculator by Texas Instruments or Casio would also help you determine these aspects of physics.
To get a closer look at some calculators, go to:
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Astro-Physical Calculator
- University of Oklahoma: Accelerating Voltage Calculator
There are also calculators to determine outcomes within a business. It is important to use these types of calculators when starting a business and many times throughout the year to predict any future gains or losses. Many of them are extremely useful in helping to determine if your business is doing well or not. Calculators for Websites has a calculator to help you determine the value of your business.
If you are self-employed, then calculators will have an amazing value to you. The National Association of the Self-Employed has a variety of online calculators to use for your own small business. Financial calculators include mortgage, payroll deductions, 1040 tax collections, calculating retirement savings in 401(k), and cash flow.
You can find more financial calculators related to business at the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
Math Tables and Conversion Resources
With the United States being the only country not using metric measurements, conversion tables help us a lot, especially in science and business.
Math2 has a large variety of tables, conversion charts, and other functions listed for algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. They also have a message board and helpful links should you get stuck in your studies.
You can access printable math tables and conversion charts at Beaufort County Community College.
SOS Math has all sorts of tables ranging from simple like multiplication tables, to more complex tables such as integrals with hyperbolic functions.