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Using a scientific calculator

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Do you have a Casio fx-83 ES scientific calculator (or a compatible model) and want to learn how to use it? This free course, Using a scientific calculator, will help you to understand how to use the different facilities and functions and discover what a powerful tool this calculator can be!

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the basic functions on your calculator
  • understand which calculator functions are needed for a given problem
  • understand what may go wrong when entering calculations and know how to fix them
  • apply knowledge of calculator functions to a range of mathematical calculations.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 10 hours
  • Updated Tuesday 23rd February 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Mathematics Education
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Using a scientific calculator


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The course describes some of the main features of a scientific calculator and encourages you to use your calculator, both for everyday arithmetic and for more complicated calculations that use the function keys as well. Key sequences, which describe which keys to press, are included in all the activities, so you can try out the ideas straightaway.

Due to the wide range of scientific calculators available, for the purposes of this course we will be concentrating on the Casio fx-83ES model. Other calculators may function differently to the methods described within this course.

This calculator is used on the Open University courses Starting with maths (Y182) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Discovering mathematics (MU123), but would also be useful for many other courses requiring the use of a scientific calculator.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course MU123 Discovering Mathematics.

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