How to Factor Polynomials With a TI-83 Plus

By Stephanie Ellen

Unlike its more modern (and more expensive) cousin, the TI-89, the TI-83 Plus graphing calculator doesn't come with a built-in package to evaluate polynomials. In order to factor these equations, you need to download the appropriate piece of free software to your calculator.

Connect the USB cord in the TI Connectivity Kit from your calculator to the computer.

Go to the TI-83 downloads page (see Resources below) and double-click the "Factor Any Polynomial (Update)" link. Save the application to your desktop.

Drag the application file on your desktop and drop it onto the TI Connect icon on your desktop. This will automatically download the file to your calculator.

Press the "APPS" button on your TI-83. Select "Factor Any Polynomial (Update)" by pressing the down tab and then "Enter."

Enter your polynomial function onto the screen and press "Enter." You will be given a list of factors.

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.