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Concept# Graphing calculator

Summary

A graphing calculator (also graphics calculator or graphic display calculator) is a handheld computer that is capable of plotting graphs, solving simultaneous equations, and performing other tasks with variables. Most popular graphing calculators are programmable calculators, allowing the user to create customized programs, typically for scientific, engineering or education applications. They have large screens that display several lines of text and calculations.
An early graphing calculator was designed in 1921 by electrical engineer Edith Clarke. The calculator was used to solve problems with electrical power line transmission.
Casio produced the first commercially available graphing calculator in 1985. Sharp produced its first graphing calculator in 1986, with Hewlett Packard following in 1988, and Texas Instruments in 1990.
Some graphing calculators have a computer algebra system (CAS), which means that they are capable of producing symbolic results. These calculators can manipulate algebraic expressions, performing operations such as factor, expand, and simplify. In addition, they can give answers in exact form without numerical approximations. Calculators that have a computer algebra system are called symbolic or CAS calculators.
Many graphing calculators can be attached to devices like electronic thermometers, pH gauges, weather instruments, decibel and light meters, accelerometers, and other sensors and therefore function as data loggers, as well as WiFi or other communication modules for monitoring, polling and interaction with the teacher. Student laboratory exercises with data from such devices enhances learning of math, especially statistics and mechanics.
Since graphing calculators are typically user-programmable, they are also widely used for utilities and calculator gaming, with a sizable body of user-created game software on most popular platforms. The ability to create games and utilities has spurred the creation of calculator application sites (e.g.

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There are various ways in which calculators interpret keystrokes. These can be categorized into two main types: On a single-step or immediate-execution calculator, the user presses a key for each operation, calculating all the intermediate results, before the final value is shown. On an expression or formula calculator, one types in an expression and then presses a key, such as "=" or "Enter", to evaluate the expression. There are various systems for typing in an expression, as described below.

Programmable calculators are calculators that can automatically carry out a sequence of operations under control of a stored program. Most are Turing complete, and, as such, are theoretically general-purpose computers. However, their user interfaces and programming environments are specifically tailored to make performing small-scale numerical computations convenient, rather than general-purpose use. The first programmable calculators such as the IBM CPC used punched cards or other media for program storage.

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