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.
Thinking of Getting a New Calculator?
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.
- 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.