If you will be taking calculus (MT 133/4/5/6) and you do not already own a TI-82, TI-83, or TI-84 calculator, then you should buy a TI-83, TI-83 Plus, or TI-84 Plus. Please do not plan to use a calculator other than the models listed above, since your instructor will be assuming that you will have one of those models. In particular, calculators such as the TI-81 and TI-85 do not have all of the features of the TI-82/3/4 that you will need in the course.
If you will be taking third-semester calculus (MT 233), you should check with your instructor before purchasing a new calculator. Students in other mathematics and statistics courses will need a scientific (but not necessarily a graphing) calculator. Most instructors will not allow the use of calculators having symbolic manipulation capability, such as the TI-89, TI-Nspire CAS, or TI-92.
The TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus are essentially the same as the TI-83. Their main added feature is a “flash memory” that can be upgraded over the internet by connecting to the Texas Instruments web site. This assures that the calculator can be upgraded whenever TI releases a new version of the calculator’s operating system. The TI-84 Plus is also somewhat faster. The “Silver Edition” of these calculators comes with a USB link cable that can be used to connect the calculator to a computer. The TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus can be found at most stores that sell graphing calculators.
If you are uncertain about the course you will be taking, please wait until you register before buying your calculator.