# A Review of the Graphing Calculator by Mathlab

Nowadays, the smartphone plays such an important role in our lives because it is practical in many areas. It improves efficiency for whatever I need it for. It is with me wherever I go. Out of all the functions my phone can do, being a calculator is one of the best!

I tutor science to students privately and I also teach Olympiad preparation in my high school, both of them need a lot of calculations that require calculators. The problem is that my students I teach don’t have a calculator. Weirdly enough however, they all have phones, Android phones to be exact, ah… these kids.

The normal calculator in your phone is okay for basic calculation. For complex math and physics however, a scientific calculator is a must. From all of the calculators available in the market, I definitely recommend Graphing Calculator by Mathlab. Since its size is only 1.39 MB, it doesn’t even take a minute to download.

It has a nice User Interface, graph-paper like and shows the steps required in which it solves the problem, this coincides with one of the main problems that students have with calculators. They think that their calculation is correct on the paper, but they miss one bracket while typing and the calculation comes all wrong. There goes their 100%.

The calculator can do more than a single line functions, it also has three workspaces, which is quite practical. It is nice to continue working on three separate problems, not simply three separate calculations. If you can’t finish one problem in your homework, you can just leave it out, try the next problem, and continue working on it after you ask your teacher about the problem.

Other than basic calculations, it can do tables, and as the name suggests, graphing! Most handheld calculators cannot perform this, and those which can are always very expensive. Graphing is can be exceptionally helpful in math, especially for trigonometry, such as doing calculations in degrees and radians for Cartesian and polar coordinates. The app will draw a rough sketch for the given equations however, for finer result, definitely use the result from the Table, the graphing function will only have accuracy to within 0.1 units.

It can do many other things that most calculator apps usually don’t have: matrix including dot and cross product, probability, hyperbolic function, derivation, polynomial, inverse, it would be difficult to list all of them. Most importantly, it can do algebra. Here is the video describing how the app works: http://youtu.be/-45xwHHELMQ

Those are more than half of your math course right there. With the app, not only will it do calculations, but it can help you understand the math concepts and methods, since it will show the work from which you can take example of. You can see how the formula works, reuse it with other problems, allowing you to know exactly how it should be done. Students often have low grades in math courses because they don’t understand the concepts reading the explanations given in the textbooks. I read some user’s feedback, after they had used the app they had better comprehension about their courses, and their grades improved.

What I like best about this app is the memory function. A good calculator will do the calculations accurately. With this calculator, you can export your graph to image and the table to csv, no need for computer.

In physics and chemistry, there are many constants to be put in a calculation: the gravitational constant, Stefan-Boltzmann’s constant, Plank units, Avogadro’s number, and so many more. It would be quite tiring to always have to type them in each time. Using the Library mode of the PRO version of the app, you can save them as constants, along with functions and expressions; it will save plenty of time.

Here is a link to download a FREE version of the Graphing Calculator by Mathlab:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.mathlab.android

On its own the FREE version is pretty good, but the PRO version is even better.

If you use the PRO version, there is no need for internet connection, no ads, and you can use the Library mode to save your constants, your customised functions and expressions. It is definitely worth the $5.99 cost. Now, if my teacher would just let me bring my phone to the exams…

Picture sources: Mathlab

Posted on February 25, 2014, in Plugging, Reviewing, Teaching and tagged Android, app, calculator, math, physics, review. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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