Exploring the benefits of broad functionality on the Casio fx-CG50 - Casio Calculators

Exploring the benefits of broad functionality on the Casio fx-CG50

Apr 2024 Medium Read: 4 Min

The Casio fx-CG50 graphic calculator is our most powerful handset, partly due to its ability to graph Cartesian, parametric and polar functions, as well as 3D lines and planes, and other mathematical concepts.

However, it’s important to note that the functionality of the device extends way beyond just producing and analysing graphs. If you want to use the calculator effectively and make the most of its potential, you should be aware of its full range of applications.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most useful features of the fx-CG50 outside of Graph mode.

Equation mode

When it comes to analysing, understanding and solving equations, it’s true there’s a lot you can do with the graphing functionality on the fx-CG50. Plotting two simultaneous equations, such as a linear and quadratic, and finding the solutions you need by looking at where the lines intersect is a good example.

However, as every teacher knows, it’s crucial that the fundamental theory underlying these sorts of core concepts is well-established before looking at other ways of exploring them.

This is where dedicated apps like the fx-CG50’s Equation mode can come in particularly useful, as they provide a targeted way to reinforce understanding by helping students check their working methods and verify their answers.

You can use this part of the calculator to solve various equations, including simultaneous linear equations with two to six unknowns and polynomial equations from the second to sixth degree.

While exploring Equation mode, students will come across the Solver tool, which they might already be familiar with if they have used the fx-991CW scientific calculator.

The fx-CG50 also offers an upgrade to this functionality in the form of SolveN, which solves equations numerically and presents the solution set as exact values.

Distribution mode

Distribution mode was introduced when the fx-CG50 was upgraded to OS 3.6 and it has proven a highly popular and effective tool for teachers and students alike. If you’re not running the latest operating system (currently OS 3.8), you can download the update file here.

This dedicated feature for calculating and visualising probability distributions offers a number of key advantages. One notable benefit is that it removes the need to remember the syntax that was previously required when doing these calculations in Run-Matrix mode.

It supports binomial and normal distributions for A-level maths students – as well as other types that might be useful for those studying Further Maths – and also combines nicely with the calculator’s graphing functionality, allowing you to graph distributions for further analysis.

We recently discussed effective fx-CG50 strategies with James Davis, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Maths Teacher at Newstead Wood School. He told us that the Distribution app has been a big help to his students.

James noted that it has provided clear time-saving benefits and also offered a more visual way of tackling problems than the separate Statistics mode, particularly when looking at concepts such as critical regions of binomial distributions.

Recursion mode

The fx-CG50’s Recursion mode can open up new and interesting ways to investigate a topic that GCSE and A-level maths students will already be quite familiar with: sequences and series.

In this area of the calculator, you can input up to three formulae – including linear two-term and three-term recursion sequences – generate number tables and graph the resulting values.

This provides another example of how different modes can be combined with the calculator’s graphing functionality to make connections and deepen understanding.

The graphs of the values that make up your sequences can give students a visual route into understanding them and help them gain the insights they need to answer exam questions.

Learn more about the Casio fx-CG50

Whatever your level of experience with the fx-CG50 – whether you’re picking it up for the first time or you’ve used it a lot but want to refine your skills in certain areas – there are many resources available to help.

For complete beginners, we recommend signing up for a free training session. You’ll be able to pick up some useful tips from one of our calculator experts and learn how to execute basic functions such as solving equations and drawing graphs.

You can also find a playlist of videos covering the basics of the fx-CG50 on the Casio Education YouTube page.

There are many more resources dedicated to our most advanced graphic calculator in our online resources centre, and you can contact us at any time to discuss your school’s technology needs and how we can help.