A cornerstone of both Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 is the unit concerning systems of linear equations. There are several different ways to solve these algebraic heavy problems, in which most graphing calculators can solve in at least two different ways. Depending on the problem, sometimes it is much easier to do by hand but there are times where it is good to just substitute the problem into your device and let the people of Texas Instruments do the dirty work for you. At the very least, the TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators are a good source to use to check your answers depending on how much time you have to complete the questions.

The most common way students learn to use their TI-84 Plus Graphing calculator to solve a systems problem is through the graphing method. Under the Y= key, students have the option of substituting there linear equations and then later on viewing the graphs of their equations. Before you can enter your problem in the calculator, you need to make sure all of your equations are solved for y; otherwise, it will not work. Ultimately, we are looking for the point of intersection of the equations that have been graphed. The label INTERSECTION can be found under the 2nd-TRACE keys near the top of the calculator. From there the TI-84 will guide you on how to find the exact ordered pair that you are looking for. Once you get this process down, you can easily solve a systems problem in under 2 minutes.

The second and less common way to solving a systems using a TI-83 would be using matrices. If you have some general knowledge about matrices going into using this method then it is pretty straight forward. The only thing you have to watch out for is with the actual data entry. You are entering a lot of numbers into the calculator using this method, so user error is very common with this method.

No matter which method you choose this is a valuable resource to know how to be able to use. While it may not seem like it at first, learning these processes can ultimately save you lots of time on your next systems of equations homework assignment.

## Leave a Reply