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RHIT - Department of Mathematics

Calculator/Computer use - general policy

Mathematics with and without calculators/computers: To be an effective user of mathematics one must completely master the basic fundamental mathematics: algebra, trigonometry, solving linear and quadratic equations, simple derivatives, integrals, differential equations and systems of equations. The mastery is required to develop mathematics intuition, understand concept development, and the solution of simple problems as presented in a text or a classroom demonstration. On the other hand, the computer and/or calculator greatly enhance visualization and computation for more difficult and lengthy problems. Students need to develop facility at both. Therefore, the following two aspects of mathematics courses are considered to be part of the fundamental nature of the basic freshman and sophomore courses at Rose-Hulman:
  • continuing development and demonstration of basic mathematical computation and concepts in written form, i.e., paper and pencil only,
  • development of and demonstration of the ability to use the computer and/or calculator for routine and advanced computation, visualization, advanced modeling, and problem solving.
Each professor will implement these in somewhat different ways in their classes, but students should expect that there will be assignments, quizzes, tests, and exams in both formats. In particular there is a specific final exam policy in place for the basic math sequence in which a combination of the formats are used (see link below).


Calculator Policy
  • The mathematics department has no recommendation on a specific type of calculator to use, nor does it offer any instruction on the use of a calculator. It is expected that the student will have mastered the use of a calculator --typically a graphing caluclator -- in high school. When needed, a student should use a calculator that they are comfortable with, for instance the type of calculator they used in high school. Most students bring their high school calculator or some upgrade.
  • The professor of the course will determine when calculator use is permitted or not following the principles outlined above.

Computer Policy


Please refer to the more extensive computer use policy document.


Tests and Final Exams

Please refer to the final exam policy.
This document was last modified: 07/05/2011
Questions and Comments to: mathwebmaster@rose-hulman.edu