A Scientific Calculator Computer Science Essay

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A scientific calculator is a type of electronic calculator, usually but not always handheld, designed to calculate problems in science especially physics, engineering, and mathematics.

They have almost completely replaced slide rules in almost all traditional applications, and are widely used in both education and professional settings.

In certain contexts such as higher education, scientific calculators have been superseded by graphing calculators, which offer a superset of scientific calculator functionality along with the ability to graph input data and write and store programs for the device.

There is also some overlap with the financial calculator market.

Modern scientific calculators generally have many more features than a standard four or five-function calculator, and the feature set differs between manufacturers and models; however, the defining features of a scientific calculator include:

  • Scientific notation for calculating large numbers
  • floating point arithmetic
  • logarithmic functions, using both base 10 and base e
  • trigonometry functions (some including hyperbolic trigonometry)
  • exponents and roots beyond the square root
  • quick access to constants such as pi and e
  • In addition, high-end scientific calculators will include such features as

  • equation solving
  • hexadecimal, binary, and octal calculations, including basic Boolean math
  • complex numbers
  • fractions
  • statistics and probability calculations
  • programmability - see Programmable calculator

While most scientific models have traditionally used a single-line display similar to traditional pocket calculators, many of them have at the very least more digits (10 to 12), sometimes with extra digits for the floating point exponent.

A few have multi-line displays, with some recent models from Texas Instruments and Casio using dot matrix displays similar to those found on graphing calculators.

HISTORY

The first scientific calculator that included all of the basic features above was the programmable Hewlett-Packard HP-9100A,[2] released in 1968, though the Wang LOCI-2 and the Mathatronics Mathatron had some features later identified with scientific calculator designs.

The HP-9100 series was built entirely from discrete transistor logic with no integrated circuits, and was one of the first uses of the CORDIC algorithm for trigonometric computation in a personal computing device, as well as the first calculator based on reverse Polish notation entry.

HP became closely identified with RPN calculators from then on, and even today some of their high-end calculators (particularly the long-lived HP-12C financial calculator and the HP-48 series of graphing calculators) still offer RPN as their default input mode due to having garnered a very large cult following.

Texas Instruments, after the introduction of several units with logarithm/exponent capability, came out with the first modern handheld scientific calculator in 1974 in the form of the SR-50.[3] TI continues to be a major player in the calculator market, with their long-running TI-30 series being one of the most widely used scientific calculators in classrooms.

Casio and Sharp have also been major players, with Casio's FX series (beginning with the Casio FX-1 in 1972[4]) being a very common mass-market brand used particularly in schools.

Casio is also the #3 player in the graphing calculator market, having been the first company to ship one (Casio fx-7000G), but has long been outstripped by TI and HP.

USES OF SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR

Scientific calculators are used widely in any situation where quick access to certain mathematical functions is needed, especially those such as trigonometric functions that were once traditionally looked up in tables.

They are also used in situations requiring back-of-the-envelope calculations of very large numbers, as in some aspects of astronomy, physics, and chemistry.

They are very often required for math classes from the junior high school level through college, and are generally either permitted or required on many standardized tests covering math and science subjects.

As a result, many are sold into educational markets to cover this demand, and some high-end models include features making it easier to translate the problem on a textbook page into calculator input, from allowing explicit operator precedence using parentheses to providing a method for the user to enter an entire problem in as it is written on the page using simple formatting tools.

FUNCTIONS

Modern scientific calculators generally have many more features than a standard four or five-function calculator, and the feature set differs between manufacturers and models; however, the defining features of a scientific calculator include:

  • Scientific notation for calculating large numbers
  • floating point arithmetic
  • logarithmic functions, using both base 10 and base e
  • trigonometry functions (some including hyperbolic trigonometry)
  • exponents and roots beyond the square root
  • quick access to constants such as pi and e
  • In addition, high-end scientific calculators will include such features as

  • hexadecimal, binary, and octal calculations, including basic Boolean math
  • complex numbers
  • fractions
  • statistics and probability calculations
  • programmability - see Programmable calculator
  • equation solving

While most scientific models have traditionally used a single-line display similar to traditional pocket calculators, many of them have at the very least more digits (10 to 12), sometimes with extra digits for the floating point exponent. A few have multi-line displays, with some recent models from Texas Instruments and Casio using dot matrix displays similar to those found on graphing calculators.

TOOLS USED

  1. iostream.h-it is a header file in c++.it is input output stream without which cout or cin function will not be defined
  2. conio.h-it is a header file in c++.it is a console input-output header file.it is defined for clrscr(), getch() function.
  3. Switch() statement:it is a decision making statement.it is basically used in those program where we have more than one condition to execute. for eg. program written for scientific calculator need many function to execute and so for that we will use switch() statement.

REFERENCES

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_calculator
  2. HP-9100A/B at hpmuseum.org
  3. SR-50 page at datamath.org
  4. Casio FX-1 Desktop Scientific Calculator

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