I have been converting Rossman's Workshop Statistics data to TI-83 and Minitab formats. This has brought up some interesting questions:
If students are going to work through data at home using the TI-82 or TI-83 we will want them to load the data sets in memory before they go home. Of course the TI-82 is limited to six lists L1->L6. Thus students will not be able to take home much data and it may be overwritten in another class such as mathematics or science.
However, the TI-83 allows lists to be stored with names in addition to L1->L6. For instance you can call a list YEAR and another INCOME. (In fact residuals are stored automatically in a list call RESID). As a result students can store many lists of data in their TI-83 and take the data home to do homework.
However, there is a trade off. There is a learning curve for how to handle lists other than L1->L6. While it took me a while to pick up all the tricks that this involves, I think once you understands how it works you can teach your students without too much pain or extra time.
I can see some other questions such as making sure that extraneous lists are deleted as the year progresses so that there is room for more data. In addition, there is no way to "group" lists in the calcululator..as a result, students will have to know which lists belong to which data set. Also, two different homework problems with data representing, for instance, the year, will have to have different variable names to both reside in the calculator at the same time.
So the question is...what are you going to do? Use only L1->L6 or include variable names? Anyone have any experience with this?
Questions for me: Did I really want to spend the summer dealing with this???????
Albert Coons Mathematics Department Buckingham Browne & Nichols School Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 547-6100 x 264 AlCoons@aol.com