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# Understanding online graphing calculator

An online graphing calculator is a specific device that is used for completing various graphing tasks, including but not limited to plotting graphs, solving mathematical problems (for example, simultaneous equations), as well as performing many other assignments that have variables. There is a great number of different graphing calculators and online graphing calculator is one of them. The majority of graphic calculators have rather big displays, which is very beneficial because graphing calculators sometimes have to display a couple or more lines of certain text and different calculations simultaneously. On the internet, you can find free online graphing calculator that would be able to plot linear, trigonometric, logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, quadratic, hyperbolic, inverse ad other functions of various forms, including but not limited to implicit, explicit, parametric, polar, etc. Apart from it, an online graphing calculator can also deal with graphing arbitrary inequalities, as well as inequalities of systems, direction fields or vector fields (slope fields), and visualize certain data. When using online graphing calculator, you can customize the plots and style them the way you want, according to your views and the requirements of the assignment.

Before the first online graphing calculator was introduced to the world, people had another alternative to use. It was a handheld graphing calculator that was able to solve not all of the problems listed above, but a wide range of them. The first commercially available handheld graphing calculator was introduced to the world in the middle of eightieth. This graphing calculator was produced by Casio and had a number of innovative functions that considered to be a real breakthrough for that time. Apart from it, the Casio graphing calculator was able to graph in different colors, it has impressing memory, the input and output in the Casio graphing calculator were textbook-like, the screen was backlit, full-colored and with high resolution.

Right after Casio the next graphing calculator was produced by Sharp. This handheld calculator was characterized by a number of innovations, including but not limited to the touch screen. Among those innovations there was a reversible keyboard, which made the learning much more easier, because it provided two sides with different complexity level of functions: the first side provided basic elementary functions and the other side was supplied with additional set of functions for more advanced users.

Eventually, after Casio and Sharp the bigger number of handheld graphing calculators began to appear on the market. Some of them featured computer algebra, which enabled the manipulation of symbolic expressions and made it possible to deal with analytic solving. Since the beginning of ninetieth the producing of handheld graphing calculators was divided into two parts. Some of calculators were dedicated to serve to beginners in the area of graphing, for the market of high school and college education, while others were created for the usage of professionals and were sold on the professional engineering and science markets. However, there were also such models that could serve to both professional customers and beginners, including students of high schools and colleges.

In the end of ninetieth there were created calculators that were convenient for the usage of children from the age of ten, some of them had better and faster processors, more memory and USB connection. All in all, today's market of handheld graphing calculators is equally appropriate for the users of different levels, beginning from the students of middle schools, high schools and colleges and finishing with professional customers. All of them are equally available on the market to the general public with all levels of skills.

## The features of graphing calculators

Taking into consideration that today's market of handling graphing calculators provides a great choice for everyone's needs, there appeared the necessity of providing different kinds of calculators with different features, so the customer could choose what fits best to dealing with the problems that he has. Therefore, there is a number of specific features that are peculiar to different kinds of handheld graphing calculators, the most important of which are listed below:

• Computer and algebra systems. This feature is peculiar to those graphing calculators, the purpose of which is to help the customer produce symbolic results. Such graphing calculators are capable to manipulate algebraic expressions, they can deal with performing various algebraic operations, such as factor, simplify, expand, etc. Additionally, such calculators are capable to provide answers in exact form without even the usage of numerical approximations.
• Laboratory usage. There are such graphing calculators that can serve as attachments to other devices. For example, they can be attached to electronic thermometers, accelerometers, weather instruments, light/decibel meters, a wide range of sensors, which helps them functioning as data loggers. Also, such calculators may have WiFi sensors and other modules of communications that are used in monitoring and interaction between students and their teacher. Such calculators are useful when learning mathematics, as well as statistics, engineering and mechanics.
• Even though at first sight handheld graphing calculators can only serve as readily user-programmable gadgets, there is also another field of their successful exploitation. Some of graphing calculators are widely exploited for gaming objectives, they are provided with a sizable body of special game software created for the user on different popular platforms. Such handheld calculators are of the same price as those created for professionals, engineers, researchers and other advanced users, which makes them very popular among customers, who want a graphing calculator for different purposes.
• Apart from the listed above, there are also such graphing calculators that are provided with ability of color output and can deal with interactive and animated drawing of mathematical plots, as well as with a number of other figures, like preparation of documents that contain animated algebra and geometry theorems and so on. Some producers of graphing calculators provide also computer software that makes working with the gadget much easier and more convenient.

## Graphing calculators in education systems of different countries

• North America. Here, graphing calculators, both handheld and online graphing calculator are on the top of popularity. Teachers of mathematics in high schools not only allow, but also encourage students to take use from graphing calculators directly at classes, as well as at home. Also, there are often special calculus courses in the high schools, where these gadgets are required for the studying.
• United Kingdom. In this country, the usage of handheld and online graphing calculator is allowed for the mathematical courses of A-level. At the same time, the usage of gadgets is not necessary and the examinations are designed in such a way that the students can solve problems with or without graphing calculators. For example, at some courses, students receive one paper where the usage of graphing calculator is prohibited, and another paper where the usage of calculators is allowed.
• Finland and Slovenia. In these countries, the usage of graphing calculators that provide symbolic calculation, both handheld and online, is prohibited, especially during examinations. The regulations of the usage of calculators in Finland and Slovenia is currently being reviewed and there is a possibility that students will receive the right to use the gadgets soon.
• Here, handheld graphing calculators providing WiFi communication are prohibited, as well as the usage of online graphing calculator. This regulation concerns particularly technical universities.
• In this country, the regulations concerning the usage of graphing calculators vary from state to state and depend on the specialization of the universities.
• In most of cases the usage of graphing calculators is allowed, with the exception of primary and secondary schools.
• Just like in China, in this country, the usage of graphing calculators is prohibited only during studying in the primary and secondary school. However, the universities develop their own regulations concerning this issue and have their own right to allow or prohibit the usage of gadgets during examinations.
• Here, students cannot use any kind of graphing calculator, handheld or online, with WiFi communication capability or not.
• In this highly developed country graphing calculators can be used exceptionally in junior colleges. At the same time, there are papers, where the usage of graphing calculator is required.
• Here, during the final three years of studying in high schools, students are required to use graphing calculators during examinations and tests. More than that, the opportunity of usage of graphing gadgets led to preparing cheat sheets for the examinations that are exchanged before the beginning of the examination.
• In some universities of Israel, the usage of graphing calculators is prohibited during mathematical examinations. All the universities and mathematical/engineering courses provide their own rules and regulations in regard to the usage certain models of graphing calculators during examinations.

## The programming of graphing calculators

The majority of graphing calculators, just like the non-graphing calculating scientific and programmer's gadgets are usually provided with the complex of automate programs. At first, the automate complex of programming is created on the computer, and after that, it can be downloaded to the graphing calculator. In order to enable the process of downloading the program to the calculator, the gadget is supplied with special programming tools, including the interpretations of different languages and symbols on the computer. The most widespread programming tools for dealing with this matter is the computer link cable together with the special software for the graphing calculator.

The most widespread languages that are used for graphing calculators are very similar to the language of BASIC (the most popular general-purpose programming language of a high level characterized by exclusive convenience and comfort in usage). Letters of the programming language may be characterized by a wide range of features, including but not limited to the capability of string manipulation, of dealing with complicated, branching and advanced conditional statements, variety of graphics, a great number of mathematical and number base and so on.

As it can be seen, the areas of usage, the usefulness and importance of such invention as graphing calculator is hard to overestimate. The ability to use this gadget can be really helpful for your studies and ease the accomplishing of many mathematical problems a lot.

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