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Volume 3, Number 32

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10 August 1998                                     Vol. 3, No. 32


  WebMath | Shapari | TI and Order of Operations - math-teach

                     WEBMATH - Tom Bensky


Instant solutions to math problems: you may type your problem
directly into this Web site and get a step-by-step solution. 
WebMath can solve many introductory-level algebra problems;
topics from trigonometry, advanced algebra, and calculus are
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Some WebMath solutions use Java for computer graphics and 
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 - Everyday math
     figuring a tip, sale price, converting temperatures
 - Numbers
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 - Fractions
 - Graphing
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 - Simplifying expressions
     powers, products, like terms... 
 - Polynomials
     add/subtract, multiply, divide, exponents...
 - Factoring polynomials
     using GCF, difference of two squares, trinomials
 - Quadratic equations
     solve by factoring, the quadratic formula...
 - Word problems


                  SHAPARI - Spelunk Computing


Windows 95/98/NT software that emphasizes abstract thinking, 
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A trial version is available for downloading, and the summer 
1998 price is U.S. $15.


     TI AND ORDER OF OPERATIONS - a math-teach discussion

A conversation that begins with a comparison of mnemonics
for order of operations [PEMDAS, GEMA] (16 July 1998):

and continues with a discussion of inconsistencies and
ambiguities in the ways that calculators handle fractions,
exponents, etc....


- TI and order of operations: (23 July 1998):

  "On the TI-82, for example, 2/3x means 2/(3x) rather 
   than the more usual (2/3)x. This inconsistancy was 
   corrected on the TI-83."        - Maxine Bridger

  "Changing the order of operations is not a correction, 
   it is a choice. Correction would imply an error.  
   Inconsistency is indicated only if there were some 
   internal contradiction."        - Ron Ferguson


- Re: TI an order of operations (24 July 1998):

  "It wasn't until the advent of computers that people 
   dealt carefully with the problem of what 1/2x really 
   should mean."                   - Lou Talman

  "... there is a good reason for the lack of a universally
   understood convention here: Nobody needs it. Only in a 
   schoolbook would one ever see something like 
   3-2+5-6*7/4*3-5+14/5*3..."      - Ralph A. Raimi

  "List members might wish to take a look at a 'structural' 
   representation we have included in V2.04 of GrafEq... 
   downloadable from "
                                   - Gary Tupper


- Re: TI order of operations (27 July 1998):

  "I noticed that my TI-92 says that 4^3^2 is 262,144, 
   but Microsoft Excel says that it is 4096..."
                                   - Guy F. Brandenburg

  "I was taught that the rule has always been 'start 
   at the top & work down'..."     - David C. Purdy

  "... difficulties with typography have instructional     
   implications. (If you don't believe that typography 
   can be difficult, ask yourself why Knuth devoted so 
   much time to it.)..."           - Ron Ferguson
For information about the math-teach discussion group, see:


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