Polynomials can be solved by using several different methods, such as the quadratic formula or a method known as factoring. Factoring allows you to rewrite polynomials in a form that makes it easier to find the solutions/roots of your equation.
But what many fail to realize is that this process can be automated using your calculator. The TI-84 Plus CE (and all other TI-84 calculators, for that matter) are capable of running programs that can do all sorts of things, from GameBoy emulators to quadratic equation solvers. And yes, this includes factoring polynomials.
Intrigued? Let’s get started!
What You Need
- A TI-84 Plus CE Calculator (A TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition will work as well)
- Your calculator charging cable
- TI Connect CE Software Installed (Download Here)
- Polynomial Factoring Program (Download Here)
Plug your calculator into your computer by using the charging cable. Make sure your calculator is turned on!
Now, open TI Connect CE (download above) and click on the “Calculator Explorer” tab.
TI Connect CE should now show a list of all the files stored on your calculator.
If it is still asking you to connect a calculator, double check that your calculator is turned on and that the charging cable is fully plugged in (you may have to push pretty hard to get it fully connected to your calculator).
Navigate to the folder where the Polynomial Factoring Program was downloaded to (download link above). Drag the file into the list of files in TI Connect CE.
Now, just click the “SEND” button to send it to your calculator!
Using the Program
This program was created by Anders Tiberg, and is by far the fastest and most error-free factoring program available. Unlike other programs, it has yet to have failed me even once.
Press the [prgm] button on your calculator. A menu should then appear showing all of the programs on your calculator.
Select the program called “FACTOR” and press enter. Press enter again to run the program.
The program will ask you what the highest exponent is. Let’s use the example 12x^2+5x-2. 2 would be the highest exponent in this case.
It will then ask you to type the coefficient of each term. In this example, the x^2 term is 12 (12x^2), the x^1 term is 5 (5x) and the x^0 term is -2. If we had something like 3x^2 + 9 where there is a term missing, just type 0 for that term (so X^1 would be entered as 0).
After you fill in all of the values and press enter, you will then be shown the answer in factored form! To exit once you are done, just press the enter button.
If this article helped you out, be sure to check out the rest of the articles we have here on TI84CalcWiz! We have games you can put on your calculator, programs to make your life easier, and more!