NEWS – Back in 2003, Casio released a stylus-based graphing calculator that featured a computer algebra system. It was a hybrid of the typical number pad calculator of the time and a PDA. The most recent version, the Casio fx-CG500, was introduced in 2017. Casio has also made a web version on the website Classpad.net. This website is in beta-testing and includes a calculator, analytical geometry, graphing calculator, statistical operations, and commentary. The user interface is composed of boxes that contain calculations to be performed, statements to be graphed, geometries to be studied or values to be statistically analyzed. Related boxes are connected by spline curves as is typical of visual programming.
The greatest benefit of the software is its cross-platform capability and the ability for teachers and students to share problems and solutions with each other. The software still has some problems to work out as evidenced by the screenshot below. While “i” is on the entry keyboard, neither sqrt(-1) = i nor i^2=-1 is calculated. Also solve(7*x^5-3*x^4+2*x^2-25,x) only yields the one real root 1.34925, and doesn’t provide the 4 other imaginary ones. Also, adding or subtracting very large numbers does not provide the correct result, even when using the computer algebra system. The limit to the right on the screen shot below approaches zero as x becomes infinite.
One thing that I found perplexing is that there is no way to save the screen to pdf from within the program and no way to copy the algebraic forms from the paper. At least the statistical tables allow cut and paste from and to Excel, but not the statistical result.
While in beta the use of all of the site features is free, although at the end of beta handwriting recognition and the computer algebra system functionality may need to be purchased.
If you’re searching for a powerful cross-platform calculator or looking for a tool to teach math in a computer-rich academic environment, then the Casio ClassPad may be what you’re looking for. For more information visit ClassPad.net