The decimal point display in TI30Xa calculators

The decimal point on the TI 30 Xa calculator is hardly noticeable. I prescribe this calculator for all my students in a Numerical Methods course as a programmable calculator would defeat the purpose of the course. The decimal point used to be noticeable in the older versions. I am saddened that TI has done this most probably to shave off a few cents. For a student taking a 50 minute test and doing homework with such a calculator is quite a challenge.  TI has replied my query on this issue and has forwarded it to their product developers.  In the meanwhile, buy the TI 30Xa solar version of the calculator.  The decimal point is more visible in this version.


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Author: Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw ( is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare ( annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

One thought on “The decimal point display in TI30Xa calculators”

  1. The keys on the TI-30Xa also took a lot of mashing to get them to register, the store/recall registers aren’t intuitive, and the calculator suffers from a general lack of feedback on which button was just pressed. All of these drawbacks– yours and mine– of the 30Xa led me to often double and triple check answers.

    Your class gave me a deep appreciation for the TI-36X Pro as my preferred NCEES-approved calculator (or the fx-115 ES Plus for electrical engineering calculations).


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