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Scientific Calculator
Scientific Calculator  
QUESTION: Dear Prof Randy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_calculator
http://www.math.com/students/calculators/source/scientific.htm
http://www.squarebox.co.uk/scalc.htm


Can there be further enhancements to the Scientific Calculator device functions in addition to the current functions provided by the Device ?

For examples : Matrix Algebra, Computing real roots of quadratic equation, Simultaneous equations, Vector algebra etc

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Any decent scientific calculator will have at least some of the capabilities you list. Vector algebra is interesting, such as a dot or cross-product, but I'm wondering if it would be more trouble inputting everything and then punching a button to solve rather than just crank it out by hand. Either way, only a small number of dimensions (≤ 3 or 4) would be worth the effort.

A function that might be useful that I haven't seen on a calculator is the factorial function, n!. It might be rare to actually need it since a) in using it for permutaiona and combination, the formulas usually don't need a full factorial calculation, b) the numbers can be really huge and thus approximate techniques would be needed (gamma function, Stirling's formula).

Randy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Prof Randy

Thank you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_constant

Do all modern calculators also have physical and chemical constants
useful in physics, chemistry formulas ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
calculator image
calculator image  
I don't know about all modern calculators, but the calculator on my Mac has some constants. See attached image (screenshot). This calculator also has linear algebra solutions. Who knew?

BTW, I was wrong about the factorial function; my handheld calculator and my iPhone DO have n! (integers only).

Randy

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randy patton

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college mathematics, applied math, advanced calculus, complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, probability theory, signal processing, undergraduate physics, physical oceanography

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26 years as a professional scientist conducting academic quality research on mostly classified projects involving math/physics modeling and simulation, data analysis and signal processing, instrument development; often ocean related

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J. Physical Oceanography, 1984 "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics", with M. Cane

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M.S. MIT Physical Oceanography, B.S. UC Berkeley Applied Math

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