RPN in education

General discussion about calculators, SwissMicros or otherwise
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ljubo
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:46 pm

RPN in education

Post by ljubo »

All curent RPN calculators, beeing SM or HP, are programable and thus typically not allowed to be used during exams in schools and universities. This is hugely limiting RPN usage in education and also limiting RPN popularity. At the same time, I’m quite convinced that RPN has huge didactic advantage over infix notation.
Would be great if SM would adress not only high-end, but also low end of RPN calculatros - basic requirements could be something like:
  • Not programble, no solvers, no integration
  • Low price
  • Solid quality, good keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Broad set of scientific functions
HP-15C, DM15L, HP-35S, DM42
amafan
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:40 pm

Re: RPN in education

Post by amafan »

ljubo wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:29 am
All curent RPN calculators, beeing SM or HP, are programable and thus typically not allowed to be used during exams in schools and universities. This is hugely limiting RPN usage in education and also limiting RPN popularity. At the same time, I’m quite convinced that RPN has huge didactic advantage over infix notation.
Would be great if SM would adress not only high-end, but also low end of RPN calculatros - basic requirements could be something like:
  • Not programble, no solvers, no integration
  • Low price
  • Solid quality, good keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Broad set of scientific functions
A simple feature that disables the programming features and any access to solver and any equations would suffice. This is how the Prime and TI graphics calculators work. In test mode, they show a test mode annuciator and can’t be returned to full operational mode without connecting to a PC.
DM41X (#6476), 42 (#458) - HP 17BII, 35(2), 45, HP 27S, 28S, 30B, 41CV, 42S, 48S, 35S, HP10bII+, 12C PLAT
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jgharris
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:39 am
Location: Sunny Florida

Re: RPN in education

Post by jgharris »

I'm curious,

when I was in school (2006 BSEE) about my junior year they banned all graphing calculators for engineering coursework. Their logic was not the programming but the qwerty keyboard and the CAS were detrimental to learning and too easy to abuse. That was the same logic that the NCEES took with the FE/PE exams, the NCEES also didn't want people typing in questions with the qwerty keypad and storing questions for future cheating. I finished school and passed the FE with an HP 33S. I passed the PE with the HP35S. Both of those calculators had programs/equations stored. They were/are also legal. I don't think programming and solvers are a big deal for engineering classes. Especially since you mostly have to write and type the programs in yourself.

All that being said.....

For regular high school or college coursework I could see how a programming/solver calculator can be a crutch and take away from learning but the CAS is a bigger problem for students learning algebra.
DM42: S/N 00351 & 3105
pyridine
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: RPN in education

Post by pyridine »

ljubo wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:29 am
All curent RPN calculators, beeing SM or HP, are programable and thus typically not allowed to be used during exams in schools and universities. This is hugely limiting RPN usage in education and also limiting RPN popularity. At the same time, I’m quite convinced that RPN has huge didactic advantage over infix notation.
Would be great if SM would adress not only high-end, but also low end of RPN calculatros - basic requirements could be something like:
  • Not programble, no solvers, no integration
  • Low price
  • Solid quality, good keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Broad set of scientific functions
The WP 31S might be a good try... maybe not for the solid quality and good keyboard !
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Sassersson
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:47 pm
Location: Växjö

Re: RPN in education

Post by Sassersson »

I've tried sketching on a non-programmable calculator that could probably be implemented on top of the DM Voyager software platform with code from the 10C and 11C ROM's. Though if the idea is to compete with cheapo textbook algebraics, it would have to be heavily price-pressed compared to the DMxxL series (plastic chassis, at least). I'm not sure how doable that is.
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gomefun2
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 3:45 am

Re: RPN in education

Post by gomefun2 »

When I was in engineering school (recently), we were forced to use sharp calculators (sans-solver version). These calculators are "ok", but have the worst accuracy of any calculator I've tested. (There are calculator accuracy tests you can find online to test your machines).

I would do my homework with rpn calculators, none of my classmates nor professors knew what rpn hp calculators were. Except one white haired prof on the verge of retirement.

He told me when he went to engineering school, programmable rpn calculators were allowed in school and on exams. He hates the fact students cannot use these machines (as do I).

When I graduated from engineering school, I was supposed to write a review to the school, on how to improve their engineering program. I wrote a short essay on the benefits of rpn in schools and in the professional world.

I don't think anyone will listen, and they'll keep forcing low accuracy sharp calculators on people.

It's a real shame imo. Rpn really helped me to think about engineering in a better way, as I graduated top in my class :/.
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Walter
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am
Location: Close to FRA, Germany

Re: RPN in education

Post by Walter »

pyridine wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:11 am
ljubo wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:29 am
Would be great if SM would adress not only high-end, but also low end of RPN calculatros - basic requirements could be something like:
  • Not programble, no solvers, no integration
  • Low price
  • Solid quality, good keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Broad set of scientific functions
The WP 31S might be a good try... maybe not for the solid quality and good keyboard !
Thanks for mentioning it - it's designed for number crunching. And its keyboard will look significantly better with stickers properly aligned. Basic device quality is of HP.
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WP 43S running on this device

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-35S, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L
Leo_G
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:29 am

Re: RPN in education

Post by Leo_G »

Walter,

Stickers, stickers... I need stickers.

I did get an extra 30b (2 for 34s, 1 for 31), and no Idea where to throw the 20b.

But I need stickers for the 31. And extra for my 34s' would not hurt (I still have to install the USB boards).

Any recommendations?
Jake Schwartz
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: RPN in education

Post by Jake Schwartz »

Does Eric Rechlin still have additional stickers? Check around in his http://www.hpcalc.org site.

Jake Schwartz
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Walter
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am
Location: Close to FRA, Germany

Re: RPN in education

Post by Walter »

No, he doesn't AFAIHH. But let me dig in my files...

EDIT: Please look here: viewtopic.php?p=17771#p17771
DM42 SN: 00041 β
WP 43S running on this device

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-35S, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L
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