By Andrea Gabrick

TI's Top Student Calculator

TI's Top Student Calculator Texas Instruments has added the TI-89 to its line of graphing calculators. Designed with engineers in mind, the calculator's advanced mathematics software features a Computer Algebra System (CAS) that allows you to evaluate expressions numerically or symbolically. In addition to 2-D graphing and analysis, the calculator features real-time rotation of 3-D surfaces and contour graphs. 

Students can solve linear and nonlinear systems of equations, and single or systems of differential equations. The software performs unit conversions and allows you to use units in equations and symbolic computations, as well as create and store your own custom units. The split-screen mode allows you to view two applications simultaneously.

The TI-89, featuring Flash technology, is one of the first electronically upgradable calculators. With TI Graph Link, educators can transfer downloadable upgrades and future applications from the TI Web site to update and customize the calculator to fit their curriculums. The calculator has 500K of memory to store programs, functions, and data. Other features include a high-resolution display, programming options to customize menus, dialog boxes and pop-up windows, and a printed catalog that provides syntax listings for every command and function.

The TI-89 costs $159.95. Educators can borrow one on a short-term basis through TI's Workshop Loan Program, and may also qualify for TI's volume purchase program. For more information, call (800) TI-CARES; e-mail: ; or see


Physics by Pictures

Teach students Physics by Pictures with Physics Academic Software's comprehensive presentation of physics fundamentals. Using dynamic simulations of various natural phenomenon, the program covers most major areas of physics, including thermodynamics and molecular physics.

The software allows students to manipulate physical conditions and examine the consequences, as well as develop their own scenarios. Built into the program are lists of mathematical and physical formulas, calculators for basic and scientific functions, tables of physical constants, circuit and optic simulators, and a chart of SI units. Another facet of the program takes a historical look at the experiments and scientific laws Newton, Kepler, and others. The package includes a user's manual and several program texts containing questions, problem-solving exercises, experiments, and other reference material.

Physics by Pictures requires a PC running Windows with a minimum 386 processor, 3 MB of free hard disk space, and a VGA graphics card. A single copy costs $275, a 10-copy lab pack is $1,100, and a high school site license is $690. For more information or to order, call (800) 955-8275 or (919) 515-7447; fax (919) 515-2682; e-mail: ; or see .


Resource for Mentors

Improve your mentoring practices with A Curriculum for Training Mentors and Mentees in Science and Engineering. The comprehensive package, developed at the University of Washington, includes a curriculum guide for administrators; individual handbooks for faculty members, students, engineers, and scientists; a bibliography of resources; an evaluation module; a video of mentoring scenarios; and a video guide.

The curriculum is a result of the collaborative efforts of an advisory board of Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN) members and Suzanne Brainard, immediate past president of WEPAN. The curriculum was pilot-tested at the University of Washington, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Seattle University, and Pacific Lutheran University.
Curriculum costs $150. To order or for more information, call (765) 494-5387; fax (765) 494-9152; or e-mail: .


Tax Help for Educators

Educator's Income Tax GuideThe Educator's Income Tax Guide, published by Teachers Tax Service, is a valuable resource for surviving tax season. The guide, originally created 32 years ago by professor John Jensen, is designed to help educators understand how advantages like travel, seminar attendance, and publishing are deductible.

The Guide clarifies new tax laws with easy-to-understand explanations and how they apply to educators. It includes tax facts, strategies, and line-by-line descriptions of most IRS tax forms. It also contains a special report on Roth IRAs, sample worksheets, a glossary of key tax terminology, and a calendar highlighting important tax deadlines.

The Educator's Income Tax Guide costs $10.95. To order, send a check or money order (credit cards not accepted) to: Teachers Tax Service, P.O. Box 8809, Chico, CA 95927-8809. For more information, call (530) 896-1929, or e-mail: .

Product descriptions are based on manufacturers' literature. Endorsement by ASEE is not implied.

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