Texas Instruments calculators are some of the most powerful and versatile classroom devices on the market. They ve been widely accepted as the standard for educational purposes largely by maintaining compatibility with the majority of high-school and college classes, ranging from algebra to advanced calculus. Older calculators may not have the same functions as some of the newer models. Rather than simply replacing your calculator, you can enhance its abilities with user-programmed applications. These graphing calculator programs range from basic games and conversion tools to advanced mathematic applications intended to give additional functionality to your device. There are as many user-programmed applications as there are programmers, so we ve elected to place these math-enhancing helpers into types of programs. This list is a compilation of what we feel are the most beneficial programs to help enhance your calculator. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don t Have To. 

RPN Mode Converter
The RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) input mode is a user favorite among HP calculator customers. The traditional algebraic, or infix, notation allows a user to place all operands (numbers or symbols) within the sequence of numbers, mimicking standard mathematical format. RPN is a notation in which all of the operators (multiplication, subtraction, etc) follow their operands. An example of each notation is shown below.

Algebraic: 8 + 5

Reverse Polish Notation: 8 5 +

Benefits of the RPN input method include requiring fewer keystrokes to complete a function and being less taxing on a computer s resources when processing a function.

FOIL App for Algebraic Conversion
A FOIL application will make multiplying two binomials simple; this function will be used extensively in courses involving algebra. The FOIL principle is a mnemonic device used to aid students in remembering the sequence of events involved in multiplying a binomial. By multiplying the Firsts, Outsides, Insides and Lasts, the equations are simplified. These programs are relatively compact, taking up little space in your calculator s memory.

Quadratic Equation Solver
A quadratic equation is a mathematic equation used primarily to determine trajectories when dealing with projectiles. It is used to solve for x in the equation you obtain by using the FOIL principle on two binomials. Calculator applications to solve these equations will return results for x as well as information about the parabola the equation would form on a graph, like the coordinates of the vertex and so on.

Triangle Information
This is a program with extensive application in the subjects of geometry and trigonometry. It will compute the remaining values of a triangle when given separate values, allowing you to solve common trigonometric problems quickly.

Programming Language Applications (Omnicalc, Axe)
These programs are intended for the more programming savvy among us. These calculator applications allow the user to write their own programs, including games and many of the applications we have listed here. They also have user s manuals on their website which offer a vast amount of practical programming and utilization knowledge.

Downloading and using these graphing calculator programs will make your calculator viable for more years of school and a wider variety of professional uses. Some of the newer calculators may have some or all of these functions already, but keep an eye out for gaps in your coverage.


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