A brief History of my High School Mathematics Class

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A Brief History of my High School Mathematics Class

As I progress through my 33rd year of teaching, I can’t help but reflect on the many changes that have taken place. As a secondary school student I did not have an electronic calculator until late1973 when I was in Form 4 (Year 10). Prior to that I depended on a “Log book” the:

Kaye and Laby, Four-Figure Mathematical Tables. Longman, Aust.

Columns and columns of logarithms, anti-logarithms, sines, cosines, tangents, reciprocals, squares, cubes and the standard normal distribution table. I can remember that my first green covered 1962 edition fell apart after much use. Then I had the red covered 1971 edition which also fell apart. Finally I had the silver covered 1975 edition as seen in the image on the right: (Insert supplied image of exercise book, log book and calculator here.) As you can see I still did pages and pages of calculations using logarithms and antilogs and as is evident from my Form 4 Maths folder which was meticulously set out. My first calculator was a Novus 4510 Mathematician scientific calculator with LED numerals and used “Reverse Polish Notation”. It was (and still is) powered by a 9V battery and after 40 years is still in good working order! (Insert supplied image of Novus calculator here.) Back in those days you were not allowed to use calculators in exams and this included the Form 6 HSC exam. You were however, allowed to use slide rules and I still have two of those somewhere in my “way back when” chest. (Insert one of the supplied images of a slide rule here.)

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