Texas Instruments’ TI 84 graphing calculator is one of the company’s most popular calculators for programming and graphing applications. Continuing the evolution of the TI 83 series, TI 84 models provide many improvements over predecessors:
- Faster processing
- Three times the memory offered by TI 83 models
- Higher contrast display screen
The TI 84 also retains full keystroke compatibility with the TI 83, which makes the upgrade easy for those who have enjoyed the power of earlier models.
TI 84 calculators have all the features and support for performing a wide variety of functions buyers are looking for:
- Basic math functions for addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication
- Scientific functions for statistical analysis, hypothesis testing, linear regression, and more
- Graphing capabilities that include histograms, scatter plotting, polar, sequence, and parametric
- Financial calculations including cash flow and amortization
So what’s missing on the TI 84? Search as you may, you won’t find a FRAC key to enter a fraction.
How to Put a Fraction in a TI 84 Plus
TI 84 models in truth contain full capabilities as complex fraction calculators, with many fraction tools built into its functions.
It’s all a matter of knowing how to set up the calculator to provide the answers in the format you’re looking for.
Mode is the Key
Setting the MODE on your TI 84 will get you the results you’re looking for. This will determine your choice in transforming operations between an improper fraction to mixed number calculator. Make this decision carefully, as it not only impacts the values displayed, but the lists and sequences that will be displayed, as well.
There are multiple selections available for MODE settings:
- AUTO – this selection returns answers in the same form as the expressions provided. So if your values are entered as fractions, the results will likewise be presented as fractions. Entering decimal values will return answers as decimal expressions.
- DEC – choosing decimal will force answers to be presented/displayed as decimal values.
- FRAC – APPROX – this mode setting returns answers in fraction notation.
Adding to your choices, the TI 84 MODE setting for FRACTION TYPE allows you to select more options to arrive at answers with improper fractions or mixed numbers:
- n/d – fractions displayed are in the simplified fraction form
- Un/d – fractions will be displayed as a mixed number, when possible
These combinations of MODE options combine to offer TI 84 users a variety of results in working with fractions.
Math Functions with Fractions
Fractions and decimal expressions can be converted quite easily on the TI 84, utilizing the MATH function. Within the MATH menu, simply access the Dec and Frac functions on the menu to change the way answers are presented.
By alternating between the Dec and Frac functions, you can switch between decimal and fraction answers as needed. If the answer cannot be converted to a fraction, the decimal value will simply be redisplayed.
Tips for TI 84 Users
TI 84 fraction functions can also be accessed via the calculator’s shortcut menus. FRAC is one of the shortcuts provided by the system, viewed by pressing ALPHA to activate the soft keys on the screen menu.
FRAC functions are then available, the same as accessing them from the MATH menu. Using these features, the same settings are available for fraction template entry – n/d or Un/d – as mentioned in the MODE settings earlier.
This allows you to quickly and easily convert a mixed number to an improper fraction, or an improper fraction to a mixed number.
Complex Fractions? No Problem
The TI 84 is a complex fraction calculator, as long as you know how to create the expressions. Complex fractions are fractions that contain fractions, such as a fraction expression within the numerator or denominator.
By putting the n/d fraction template to use multiple times in the same fraction, you can accomplish creating complex fraction expressions.
For additional details on working with fractions on the TI 84, there are many resources available online.
Getting the Most Value from the TI 84
TI 84 models have a great deal of power and functionality for use in the workplace, home, or classroom. They are also approved for use in taking such standardized tests as the ACT, PSAT, and SAP college entrance exams.
TI’s education site also offers downloads that extend the capabilities and usability of the calculator:
- Catalog Help – assists students with calculator functions
- App4Math – provides a user-friendly interface for entering math problems
- Cabri Jr. Geometry App – performs transformational analytic geometry functions easily
- CellSheet – provides spreadsheet functionality for the TI 84
Many others are available. The TI 84 provides a versatile platform for solving problems and performing scientific and graphic functions for users.