The Mathematics Department at Illinois State University uses calculators and computers in many of its courses. In some courses, it is required that students have available in and out of class a specific type of calculator. This department web page is intended to provide information about calculator requirements to current students, future students, and others who are interested.

Calculator requirements fall into two categories within the Mathematics Department:

- When a graphing calculator is required in a course at or below the precalculus content level, the department strongly recommends that students have a Texas Instruments TI-83 graphing calculator.
- When a graphing calculator is required in a course at or above the Calculus content level, the department strongly recommends that students have a Texas Instruments TI-89 graphing calculator.

In courses where a TI-83 or a TI-89 is strongly recommended:

- The recommended calculator will be used by the instructor for classroom demonstrations and other course activities.
- The instructor should be able to assist you in using the recommended calculator.
Assignments and course assessments may be written with the recommended calculator in mind.

- Courses at or below the precalculus content level that require
a graphing calculator (TI-83 strongly recommended) include but are not limited to:
- MAT 108, 119, 120, 121, 144, 151, 152, 202, 204, 207, 302, 304, 305, 309, 312, 314, 315

- Courses at or above the Calculus content level
that require a graphing calculator (TI-89 strongly recommended) include but are not limited to:
- MAT 145, 146, 147, 175, 211, 223, 323, 324, 326

- Courses that may require a non-graphing calculator
include but are not limited to:
- MAT 104, 105, 111, 130, 201

For a descriptive list of Mathematics Department courses, consult a current ISU catalog.

Your instructor will tell you whether you can use your calculator on specific tests, quizzes, and other course assignments, assessments, and evaluations. Your use may depend on the focus of the task. There may be occasions when you may be allowed to use a calculator for one portion of a test or quiz but not on another part of it.

If you do not currently own a calculator that is acceptable for your course, or you are thinking about getting a new calculator, consider the following suggestions to help choose the best calculator to purchase for mathematics.

Do you plan to continue taking mathematics courses after your current course? If so, predict the courses you may eventually take and then find those courses in the list of courses requiring calculators.

- Those enrolling in Precalculus (MAT 144) should take special note of the previous recommendation. Will you continue on to take Calculus I (MAT 145)? If you are going to purchase a new calculator and plan to continue from Precalculus (MAT 144) on to Calculus I (MAT 145) or beyond, purchase a TI-89.
- If you are planning to complete courses in the Middle School/Junior High Specialist sequence, you should have a TI-83 calculator.
- If you intend to major in mathematics or complete the major with a sequence in mathematics education, you should have a TI-89 calculator.
- If your proposed major requires extensive use of calculators, speak to someone in your department who might help you make a calculator choice from among those recommended.

Although able to provide some help in how to use your calculator, your instructor cannot be expected to answer every question about your calculator. Here are some web sites to visit as you try to answer specific questions about your calculator.

Internet Calculator Resources (The Math Forum)

If you are unable to find useful information at these sites, try using an Internet search engine to search on the particular calculator model you have, such as TI-83, TI-89, and so on.

An archive of programs for Texas Instruments calculators, by Professors Lloyd and Worth at Henderson State University.