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College Board policy perpetuates a transition barrier

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College Board policy perpetuates a transition barrier

The requirement of a hand held graphing calculator for AP tests in physics, chemistry and mathematics is prolonging the transition to Mathcad. AP Calculus AB Calculator Policy MOOCs are having enough of a problem deciding whether MATLAB, R, Python or Excel is the proper replacement for the hand-held graphing calculator.  Mathcad is recommended by only a few MOOCs.  This is a marketing problem PTC should address.  I have been using Mathcad instead of the calculator included in the MOOC platform because of the superior way it handles units.

units Mathcad.png

I started out with a K&E slide rule, progressed to an HP RPN calculator, did everything possible with a graphing calculator, but now I'm using Mathcad.

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Re: College Board policy perpetuates a transition barrier

Thomas Orme wrote:

The requirement of a hand held graphing calculator for AP tests in physics, chemistry and mathematics is prolonging the transition to Mathcad. AP Calculus AB Calculator Policy MOOCs are having enough of a problem deciding whether MATLAB, R, Python or Excel is the proper replacement for the hand-held graphing calculator.  Mathcad is recommended by only a few MOOCs.  This is a marketing problem PTC should address.  I have been using Mathcad instead of the calculator included in the MOOC platform because of the superior way it handles units.

I started out with a K&E slide rule, progressed to an HP RPN calculator, did everything possible with a graphing calculator, but now I'm using Mathcad.

Interesting.

If they're merely trying to get students familiar enough to work with a calculator to show that they can understand and solve problems during an exam, then I can see the point in restrictring the capability of the calculator to ensure that students can't "cheat".  I wonder why they don't permit calculators with QWERTY (or similar) keyboards?  Surely there is no particular values in having to work through a multi-key sequence to get an alphabetic variable or type a function name?

As an aside, when Mathsoft were looking for a Maple replacement, I suggested that they have a look at twinning with HP or TI to take advantage of their CAS capability and possibly gain an alternative entry point into the market by taking advantage of the symbiosis, and also grabbing students earlier than they would normally have sight of Matlab.  It would have been interesting to be able to play with algorithms on a TI-92 or HP 49g and Mathcad, and share files between them.

Stuart

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