Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 21:46:53 -0400

Author: "Tom Gill"

Subject: Re: What is a Vector Capable Calculator?

Post:

Vector capabilities are included in the TI-85 and TI-86 (and probably higher
ones also). You can enter a vector in the format [10<45] and have the
calculator perform operations on it (the "<" is actually an angle symbol).
Or you can enter the vector in rectangular form, [7.07,7.07].

It's pretty nice to be able to add and subtract vectors as easily as
scalars. Just typing in [10<45] + [5<120] gives either [12.3<68.2] or
[4.57,11.4] as an answer depending on the mode (polar, rectangular,
cylindrical, etc.) the calculator is in.

The danger may lie in teaching this too early to students, but it's great
for saving time once the concept is understood.

I haven't played with using vectors in the built-in solver that the
calculator has. I'm guessing that if I input an equation and then the
variables in vector format, that it would solve it. I don't generally teach
students to use the solver though, since it becomes a crutch too easily.

Tom Gill
Central Columbia HS

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