The Logistics for Using the Calculator Programs

Running the individual programs plays an important role in teaching with
About Mathematics. Once you get the program groups downloaded into your and your students' calculators, you need do little more. This section — and the associated video — describe the steps for getting those groups to your calculator and to those of your students.

Step 1. Transferring the program chapter groups to your computer

Simply choose the Downloads section of this website and click on the programs either one at a time or all at once. They will be immediately copied to your computer. I suggest that you locate them in a folder for easy access.

Step 2. Transferring the program chapter groups from your computer to your calculator

Use the
TI-Connect software to accomplish this. You probably have this program on the disk that came with your calculator. If not, you can download it from the TI educational website. Be sure to download the version appropriate to your Mac or Windows computer.

(I use a Macintosh computer and the following describes the procedures for using the Mac version of TI-Connect. If you use Windows, you may find minor differences, but the general procedures are the same.)

Once you have the TI-Connect program on your computer, follow these steps:

  • Connect your calculator to your computer. Use one of the connector cords supplied with your calculator. Here are the two kinds of cords:


  • And here is my calculator connected to one of the ports of my computer. At this point: Be sure to turn on your calculator.


  • Now call up the program TI-Connect on your computer. You will see a screen like this:
  • Click on TI Device Explorer. After a few seconds you should see the following screen:
  • This screen shows your calculator. (It is not necessary for you to do this, but you can click on the small triangle to review your calculator's current contents.)
  • Now you are ready to transfer your files. From the menu at the top of your computer screen select: File / Send File to Selected Devices... / Send.
  • When you do that, your calculator will call up a screen showing your computer files. Navigate to those chapter groups that you downloaded in Step 1, select them and press return. Those files will be immediately copied in your calculator.
  • You can unhook your calculator now as this task has been completed.
  • If you wish to do so, you can check to see that the files have been downloaded by keying 2nd, MEM and 2:Mem Mgmt/Del. Then scroll to 7:Group and press ENTER or simply key 7. Your chapter groups will be listed.
  • Remember: You need only perform Steps 1 and 2 once.

Step 3. Transferring chapter files from archives to workspace.

It is important at the outset for you to understand how your calculator's storage is organized. Here is a diagram that will display the two forms of storage that are of interest to you:

Memory is measured in bytes and a kilobyte (abbreviated K) is 1000 bytes.
Your calculator is divided internally into
Workspace, where you store and run programs, and Archives, where you can store both individual programs and, more important to us here, whole groups of programs. It should be clear from the diagram that your Archives have a much larger storage capacity than your Workspace — in fact, more than 40 times as much. The programs that are used in About Mathematics total far more than that 24K available in Workspace. However, there is plenty of room (and far more) for them in your calculator's Archives. There is also plenty of room for the programs of a single chapter in Workspace.
As of now, those groups of chapter programs that you downloaded to your calculator in Step 2 now reside in those
Archives. One of them, for example, is CHSTART, which contains 19 individual programs associated with the About Mathematics chapter Getting Started.
Each time you start a new chapter of
About Mathematics, you will want to do two things: (1) Clear out the current programs from Workspace (to see that your new programs do not overload it); and (2) Transfer the programs from the next chapter group to your Workspace. I will take you through those two tasks.

Task 1. Clearing out your Workspace.
2nd, MEM, 7:Reset... Then press 1:All Ram.... Finally, press 2:Reset.
When you do this you will have cleared out all your Workspace as well as any stored values like matrices, strings and lists. Be sure you understand, however, that you will not have had any effect on your
You can check by keying
PRGM to see that any old programs are gone. (Of course, if you are using programs for the first time, this will be empty in any case.)

Task 2. Uploading a chapter file group from Archives to Workspace.
2nd, MEM, 8:Group. Scroll right to UNGROUP. You will then see a list of those chapter groups you downloaded in Step 2. (Note that each has an asterisk in front of it, which indicates that it is archived.) Scroll down to the chapter you wish to upload and press ENTER. You'll see the files listed.
2nd, QUIT and then PRGM and you will see those files listed.

You can now run one of those files by scrolling to it and pressing