Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tracing with the TI-Nspire

Option A: Point On
Option B: Trace

If you are a TI-Nspire user, which method do you use/prefer for tracing? What advantages do you find for each?

The video also gives a glimpse of the new Trace Setting > Enable CALC Menu feature that is available with OS 1.6. Use the up and down arrows to make the region of investigation larger and smaller.

Updated 12/22/08:
When I first began using the TI-Nspire with the 1.1 operating system, I liked and recommended the Point On method. Yes it does show maximum, minimum, and zero when you grab and move the point. The coordinates are displayed and can be changed by double clicking on the x- or y-value. Selecting the y-value is a feature that is easier and more intuitive to do on the Nspire than on any previous handheld. Generally, when I create a document to be sent to students, if I want them to be ready to move a point around to explore the values and see the max, min, & zero, it will appear that it was created with Point On.

Updated 1/1/09
Reasons I would recommend the more versatile Trace method:
- Arrow up to trace multiple functions at the same time
- Type in an x-value and it will automatically go there
- Press enter and it will drop that point (essentially performing a 'Point On')
- Default Trace automatically finds points of interest as you move it along. But you can turn this feature off. (You can't do that for Point On.) When you save that file, it saves the trace setting too.
- You can move the point at discrete increments if you set it to that using Trace Settings.
- With OS 1.6 you now have even more features that can be enabled with trace, including finding the point of infection, max, min, zero, and intersection. This enabled 'CALC menu' will look in the domain you provide for the point of interest.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Physicist's perspective of Santa

I'm currently giving final exams.

I shared a scientific perspective of Santa with my students this week.
There are some funny lines in there. Enjoy.

It is an understatement to say that my five year old son is NOT a fan of Santa.
His latest response about what he wants to be when he grows up is an astronaut, an inventor, and he is going to try to be a Math Hero. I love that guy.