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Curves and Lying Calculators

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathLand)
Description: The pictures generated by a graphing calculator depend on the number of pixels in the display. The TI-85 has 63 rows and 127 columns in its display (a total of 8,001 pixels). "This configuration of pixels defines what we actually see and, therefore, sometimes can be extremely misleading," Tom Guglielmo says. Calculators with different display characteristics have different personalities, as do more sophisticated math programs such as Mathematica and Maple.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Calculators, Articles
Math Topics: Graphing of Functions

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