Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Speed Crunch - A Free Scientific Calculator

Speed Crunch is a free scientific calculator application for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. I learned about Speed Crunch a couple of weeks ago from guest blogger Kim Caise. Kim did a great review of Speed Crunch. Today was the first time I was able to install it and try it. I'm not a math teacher by any stretch of the imagination so I had one of my math teaching colleagues also try Speed Crunch after I installed it on my computer.

My math teaching colleague said that Speed Crunch would be very handy for a Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus class. He liked the having ability to store the solution to a prior problem for use in a subsequent equation. Speed Crunch performs all of the functions necessary for high school Algebra and Geometry courses except graphing. In addition to performing all of these functions, Speed Crunch has a "math book" containing commonly used equations and formulas. One Speed Crunch feature that appealed to me from a design standpoint is the color coding of equations to differentiate between constants and variables.

Applications for Education
Speed Crunch is a good free alternative to buying expensive scientific calculators. If you're in a one-to-one environment, Speed Crunch could be a good program to install on student computers.