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Dumb Calculator
(Basic, Simple Function Calculator)

. . .

- beware -

basic calculators

are notorious for yielding

incorrect numbers
(but it's not the calculator's fault)

. . .

how to correct it


Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Dumb Calculator - NO PEMDAS

Basic (dumb) Calculator . . .

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Dumb Calculator - NO PEMDAS . . . The "Basic" (dumb) Calculator . . .

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Dumb Calculator - Picture

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If you rely heavily on a basic calculator when working with numbers, it's important to be aware of what calculators actually do.

A basic calculator ("dumb calculator") will only do what you tell it to do , whether right or wrong . Any calculator (including a "programmable" calculator) is nothing more than a machine which completes its functions automatically - like a small robot.

Think of it in terms of this simple analogy:

If you use a light switch to turn on the lights in a building, the lights come on when the switch is turned to "on". If you turn the switch to "off", the lights go off. It always works that way.

Now suppose the building is full of explosive gas because of a gas leak. When the light switch is turned on, the building will explode.

The simple switch mechanism will not protect you from a possible explosion. The switch goes on when you turn it on, no matter what.

You could call the light switch a "dumb light switch" because it just does what you tell it to do - nothing more or less.

That is why basic calculators are called "dumb calculators".

Unless a calculator automatically takes into account "PEMDAS" Order, it will give you an incorrect answer if you have made logical errors in your reasoning . . . using the calculator to perform a series of calculations in the wrong order.

No calculator will protect you from yourself. Every calculator will do exactly what you tell it to do - no matter what.


Students ultimately fail when they use a basic calculator ("dumb calculator") to avoid learning the principles of arithmetic.


Single-step arithmetic problems.


Basic ("Dumb") calculators always give the correct answer for simple one-step problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Often students will get in the habit of using calculators for all their computations, beginning at a very young age . . . frequently with the encouragement of parents, or the local school system.

They grow to believe (trust, have faith) that calculators will always give them the correct answer.


Multiple-step arithmetic problems.


Multi-step computations associated with algebra and advanced math courses often involve long chains of numbers, brackets, exponents, and fractions.

When completing multi-step computations, students who rely heavily on basic ("dumb") calculators begin to arrive at incorrect answers on a regular basis . This even occurs when a student's problem solving logic and mathematical approach are 100% correct .

The underlying problem . . . the student lacks an understanding of basic arithmetic.

These students routinely state that their answers are correct because they used a calculator.


Read over the following examples. Keep in mind that a calculator is nothing more than a machine. It is up to the machine operator to use it correctly. It is up to the user to understand what a calculator actually does depends on how each number is entered.





Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 1 Evaluate the following expression

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 1 - Problem



Incorrect Solution



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Incorrect - Example 1



Correct Solution - "PEMDAS" Order



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Correct - PEMDAS - Example 1


Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 2 Evaluate the following expression

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 2 - Problem



Incorrect Solution



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Incorrect - Example 2



Correct Solution - "PEMDAS" Order



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - PEMDAS - Correct - Example 2


Math - Basic Calculator - Example 3 Evaluate the following expression

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 3 - Problem



Incorrect Solution



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Incorrect - Example 3



Correct Solution - "PEMDAS" Order



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Correct - PEMDAS - Example 3


Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 4 Evaluate the following expression

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 4 - Problem



Incorrect Solution



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Incorrect - Example 4



Correct Solution - "PEMDAS" Order



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Correct - PEMDAS - Example 4


Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 5 Evaluate the following expression

Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Example 5 - Problem



Incorrect Solution



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Incorrect - Example 5



Correct Solution - "PEMDAS" Order



Math Calculator - Basic Calculator - Calculator Input - Correct - PEMDAS - Example 5




Math Calculator - Free Basic Calculators Free Calculators Download or Use "Basic" Calculators on-line for Free

http://www.moffsoft.com/freecalc.htm


http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcalc.asp


http://www.easyfreeware.com/free_calculator-3149-freeware.html


http://www.calculator.org/jcalc98.html


http://download.cnet.com/Multi-Calculator/3000-2053_4-10873861.html


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