Scientific Calculator Essay

A scientific calculator is a type of electroniccalculator, usually but not always handheld, designed to calculate problems in science, engineering, and mathematics. They have almost completely replaced slide rules in traditional applications, and are widely used in both education and professional settings.

In certain contexts such as higher education, scientific calculators have been superseded by graphing calculators, which offer a superset of scientific calculator functionality along with the ability to graph input data and write and store programs for the device. There is also some overlap with the financial calculator market.


Modern scientific calculators generally have many more features than a standard four or five-function calculator, and the feature set differs between manufacturers and models; however, the defining features of a scientific calculator include:

In addition, high-end scientific calculators generally include:

While most scientific models have traditionally used a single-line display similar to traditional pocket calculators, many of them have more digits (10 to 12), sometimes with extra digits for the floating point exponent. A few have multi-line displays, with some models from Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, Casio, Sharp, and Canon using dot matrix displays similar to those found on graphing calculators.


Scientific calculators are used widely in situations that require quick access to certain mathematical functions, especially those that were once looked up in mathematical tables, such as trigonometric functions or logarithms. They are also used for calculations of very large or very small numbers, as in some aspects of astronomy, physics, and chemistry.

They are very often required for math classes from the junior high school level through college, and are generally either permitted or required on many standardized tests covering math and science subjects; as a result, many are sold into educational markets to cover this demand, and some high-end models include features making it easier to translate a problem on a textbook page into calculator input, e.g. by providing a method to enter an entire problem in as it is written on the page using simple formatting tools.


The first scientific calculator that included all of the basic ideas above was the programmable Hewlett-Packard HP-9100A,[1] released in 1968, though the Wang LOCI-2 and the Mathatronics Mathatron had some features later identified with scientific calculator designs. The HP-9100 series was built entirely from discrete transistor logic with no integrated circuits, and was one of the first uses of the CORDIC algorithm for trigonometric computation in a personal computing device, as well as the first calculator based on Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) entry. HP became closely identified with RPN calculators from then on, and even today some of their high-end calculators (particularly the long-lived HP-12C financial calculator and the HP-48 series of graphing calculators) still offer RPN as their default input mode due to having garnered a very large following.

The HP-35, introduced on February 1, 1972, was Hewlett-Packard's first pocket calculator and the world's first handheld scientific calculator.[2] Like some of HP's desktop calculators it used RPN. Introduced at US$395, the HP-35 was available from 1972 to 1975.

Texas Instruments (TI), after the introduction of several units with scientific notation, came out with a handheld scientific calculator on January 15, 1974, in the form of the SR-50.[3] TI continues to be a major player in the calculator market, with their long-running TI-30 series being one of the most widely used scientific calculators in classrooms.

Casio, Canon and Sharp have also been major players, with Casio's fx series (beginning with the Casio fx-1 in 1972[4]) being a very common brand, used particularly in schools. Casio is also a major player in the graphing calculator market, and was the first company to produce one (Casio fx-7000G).

See also[edit]


Casio fx-115ES—A modern scientific calculator from with a dot matrix "Natural Textbook" LCD

Left: Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS calculator with a two-tier LCD. The upper dot-matrix area can display input formulae and symbols.
Right: The TI-84 Plus—A typical graphing calculator by Texas Instruments

Casio fx-77, a solar-powered scientific calculator from the 1980s using a single-line LCD

Importance of Calculators

1742 WordsSep 13th, 20077 Pages

In todays time, calculators in schools are just as widely used as computers are. Since its invention nearly forty years ago, the electronic calculator has evolved from a machine that could only perform simple four-function operations ( addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) into one that can now also execute highly technical algebraic symbolic manipulations instantly and accurately. Each new generation of calculators builds on the previous one, with heightened speed and more advanced capabilities. At the same time, the cost of a basic calculator has dropped so low that virtually that every household in the U.S. can easily afford one.

Calculators are a big help when doing mathematical equations correctly. They are also a useful…show more content…

In my opinion, this statement is both true and false. Im not saying that a person should be able to use one in elementary school. That is their time to learn the operations, which is extremely important. However, in a high school or college level math class, that statement is somewhat true. Its not that I would be lost without one. Its just that it would take me a whole lot more time to calculate a problem successfully. Elementary math classes provide us with the foundations of using math throughout our lives. I believe that those years are our most crucial years in learning the subject. Everything you learn during that period of time sticks with you for life and comes in very handy when needed. Every adult should have the four main operations of math mastered in their heads. The truth is that calculators are more accurate and efficient than humans, so when you want to figure out an answer to a problem without spending hours on it, calculators can be a huge help. It is very easy to make a mistake on paper. After all, we are human. Calculators are programmed machines. They do exactly what we order them to do and are programmed to never make mistakes. The only mistake youll get out of a calculator is your own, for example, if you mistakenly push the wrong button. Along with being accurate, they have other positive qualities.

They are inexpensive and portable enough so that they can be brought along

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