Calculators help people to do complicated and not-so-complicated mathematical problems every day. Texas Instruments is one of the leading calculator manufacturers in the United States. Its TI-30Xa is a scientific calculator that can be used for algebraic calculations. The TI-30Xa calculator is programed to follow the basic order of operations.

## Basic Arithmetic

Enter the first number then press the "+", "-", "x" or "/" (division), depending on the operation. Enter the next number and then the "=" to complete the operation. Because the TI-30Xa performs mathematical operations in the order of parenthesis, exponents, multiplication/division and addition/subtraction, you can enter an entire expression with multiple operations at once.

Enter the number then press the "+/-" button to change the sign of the number from positive to negative. The "+/-" button is actually pictured as a "+" and "-" with two arrows creating a circle between them.

Enter a "(" prior to entering an operation set - meaning a set of numbers and the operation(s) being performed - and a ")" after the operation set to indicate that the calculator should perform the enclosed operation(s) prior to performing any operations that follow. Again, this follows the order of operations.

## Powers and Roots

Enter the base number, then the "x^2" (x-squared) button to square the number entered. For a cubed number, enter the base number, then "2nd" and "x^3" (x-cubed).

Enter the base number, then "y^x" (y-to-the-x-power) and the exponent number for any exponent other than 2 or 3.

Enter the number inside a radical (the square root symbol) and then the square root button. The square root button shows the square root of x. The cubed root of a number is found by entering the number inside the radical, then "2nd" and the cubed root button. The cubed root button looks like a square root symbol with a 3 on the outside and an x inside.

Enter the number inside the radical, then "2nd" and the x-root button for any root other than the square (2) or cube (3). The x-root button looks like a square root symbol with an x on the outside and a y on the inside.

## Logarithmic Functions

Enter the log number then "LOG" to get the logarithm of the number.

Enter the number and then "LN" for the natural log of a number. The TI-30Xa does not allow for logarithms with bases other than 10 or the natural number e.

Enter the exponent, "2nd" and "10^x" to calculate an exponential multiple of 10.

Enter the exponent, "2nd" and "e^x" to calculate an exponential multiple of the natural number e.

#### References

- "Texas Instruments, TI-30Xa/30Xa Solar Owners Manual," Texas Instruments Incorporated, 1997.

#### Photo Credits

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