I was thinking of asking "What Texas Instrument graphing calculator would you recommend for Calculus 1 and/or 2?"

Is this appropriate? I looked for similar a question, but couldn't find one; even a closed one.

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    $\begingroup$ Shopping recommendations are usually off-topic on SE sites. Also, the answer would be: the model recommended or required in the syllabus. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Aug 1, 2014 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ I don't recall needing a calculator for anything in my undergrad studies. That included three calculus courses, and a probability course. I did, however, ended up using a calculator twice in exams. In calculus 1, to approximate something and cleverly guess this based on the assumption "they will pick reasonably nice numbers" (which I promptly verified, of course); and once in a probability exam for whatever reason I can't recall. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 1, 2014 at 3:10
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila You haven't done it in the States... Webmaster: calculus courses for engineering majors tend to be rather prescriptive on this topic. Often they ban TI 89 and 92, but allow 83-84. Sometimes all graphing calculators are banned. Or all calculators at all. So the advice from math.SE won't help you much... By the way, you can change your username here. Nothing could be easier. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Aug 1, 2014 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ @900sit-upsaday: I see. I have no idea how the engineering level courses go on that matter in Israel, actually. And to think I actually TA'd calculus 2 for engineering students for two years... Hah. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 1, 2014 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ I TA'd an engineering diff eq course recently, and they still couldn't use calculators. $\endgroup$
    – user61527
    Aug 1, 2014 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ I used an 89 often during my first year, found it really helpful for sanity checking integrals and such. Would recommend it, so long as you don't let it become a crutch. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Aug 1, 2014 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ I recommend you DON'T get any. I would instead use WolframAlpha. It teaches you to code instead of pressing buttons. $\endgroup$
    – IAmNoOne
    Aug 1, 2014 at 6:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Nameless I agree in principle, but W|A is typically not available during exams/quizzes. Cellular communication is generally prohibited then, while calculators may be allowed depending on the course policy. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Aug 1, 2014 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


There are currently 106 questions on the main site tagged as , so some questions about calculators are on-topic.

In this particular case, however, it's a lot more borderline: There is a lot of variation between calculus courses, requirements, and whether any calculator is acceptable at all for the course. An answer to the question would really be up to university / professor policy, and could potentially be closed as opinion-based.

  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't really looking for calculators that are allowed. At my college, there hasn't been any rules for calculators. I was just looking for a calculator that some users thought were easy to use, had a lot of tools, etc. I like the calculator I have now (ti-36x pro) because it calculates derivatives and integrals, but it doesn't graph. But I don't have experience with any graphing calculators, they all seem confusing to operate, or do A LOT more than I need it to. $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2014 at 4:08
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    $\begingroup$ @WebMaster The two components of a decent recommendation question are (a) user story: what do you want to do with the calculator? (b) minimum set of features: what it must have, what is preferable, how much is the maximal price you are willing to pay. Make it a question to which answers can be objectively evaluated. If it's just "what do you think is easy to use", "what has a lot of tools (but not too many?)", then you'll be inviting votes to close: unclear, opinion-based, etc. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Aug 1, 2014 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ @WebMaster But I can tell you that when engineering students are allowed to use any calculator they want in a calculus class, they tend to prefer TI-89. It's about same size as TI-83/84, and does both graphs and symbolic calculus. But yes, a lot of buttons. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Aug 1, 2014 at 4:18

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