A calculator is a device that performs arithmetic operations on numbers. The simplest calculators can do only addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. More sophisticated calculators can handle exponential operations, roots, logarithm s, trigonometric functions, and hyperbolic functions. Internally, some calculators actually perform all of these functions by repeated processes of addition.
One of the most primitive calculators, the abacus is still used in some regions of the Far East. The abacus uses groups of beads to denote numbers. Like the slide rule, the abacus requires no source of power. The beads are positioned in several parallel rows, and can be moved up and down to denote arithmetic operations. It is said that a skilled abacus user can do some calculations just as fast as a person equipped with a battery-powered calculator.
Theoretically, a modern computer is a calculator that works with binary numbers and has a much larger memory. But in the practical sense, a computer is far more than a mere calculator, because of the wide variety of non-computational tasks it can perform.
A calculator is a person who performs arithmetic or other mathematical calculations.
Break-Even Analysis is an expected component of most business plans, especially for start-up companies. This calculator shows how much revenue you need to cover both fixed and variable costs.
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Scientific calculators provide a wide-range of sophisticated conversions, statistics, analysis, and scientific data plotting. These calculators are by far the most advanced models, and provide a variety of functionality for general math, algebra, engineering, and statistics. Most scientific calculators use the VPAM or “Visually Perfect Algebraic Method,” a system of notation for algebraic calculators. This system changes the way math problems are written and displayed on the calculator to be more in line with other math programs and international display formats. Learning to use the VPAM system and the numerous function buttons can take time, so plan on a learning period with any new scientific calculator.
A standard scientific calculator contains a variety of math functions that give students, scientists, and engineers the ability to perform complex algebraic tasks, such as fraction calculations, combinations, permutations, and statistics. These calculators can also hold variable data in memory for retrieval by functions.
Some of the features available include the following:
A dot matrix display, which provides a high resolution screen that allows numbers and graphs to be easily seen
10-digit mantissa and 2-digit exponential display
Quick and easy recall of previously executed formulas
Editing and re-execution of formulas
Back-setup viewing and editing of input data
Graphic calculators, or graphing calculators are some of the most common scientific calculators, and provide a wide range (hundreds or even thousands) of functions. Not only can these calculators perform any calculation you throw at it, they can easily plot coordinates, graph, solve, sketch, and perform complex statistics. These calculators perform enough tasks to be considered miniature computers.
Graphing calculators often have high-resolution LCD displays that allow for sharp, easy to read results, and feature high-speed CPUs that perform complex calculations and graphics. Onboard flash memory allows for worry-free storage of data and applications. Data communication is available via USB connection to a computer, for greater functionality and the ability to move data on and off the calculator. These calculators are used in a variety of science, math, and technical fields, and are also seen in academic settings. They are required for most engineering and math students.
The more advanced models of graphic calculators now use color dot matrix displays and contain a camera so you can take pictures of items, plot graphs on real objects, and do color-linking for values. The increased functionality opens up many opportunities for the study of geometry, picture plotting, graphing, and regression.