# Mathematical interactions: Measurement

Kissane, B. and Harradine, A. (2000) Mathematical interactions: Measurement. Shriro Australia Pty Limited, Chatswood, N.S.W.

## Abstract

Calculators are too often regarded as devices to produce answers to numerical questions. However, a graphics calculator like the Casio CFX-9850GB PLUS is much more than a tool for producing answers. It is a tool for exploring mathematical ideas, and we have written this book to offer some suggestions of how to make good use of it when exploring ideas related to measurement.

We assume that you will read this book with the calculator by your side, and use it as you read. Unlike some mathematics books, in which there are many exercises of various kinds to complete, this one contains only a few ‘interactions’ and even less ‘investigations’. The learning journey that we have in mind for this book assumes that you will complete all the interactions, rather than only some. The investigations will give you a chance to do some exploring of your own.

We also assume that you will work through this book with a companion: someone to compare your observations and thoughts with; someone to help you if you get stuck; someone to talk to about your mathematical journey. Learning mathematics is not meant to be a lonely affair; we expect you to interact with mathematics, your calculator and other people on your journey.

Throughout the book, there are some calculator instructions, written in a different font (like this). These will help you to get started, but we do not regard them as a complete manual, and expect that you will already be a little familiar with the calculator and will also use our Getting Started book, the User’s Guide and other sources to develop your calculator skills.

Measurement is one of the topics in General Mathematics, mainly because it is a fundamental idea in mathematics and in the applications of mathematics to the real world. Many practical uses of mathematics begin with some measurements of quantities such as length, time and angle and these measurements are used in turn to derive other measures such as those for area, speed and growth rate. You will learn to use measurement formulae in various ways to deal with practical questions, and will find your calculator of value in dealing with the relevant computations. Both tables and graphs will help you to deal with practical situations involving measurement. Calculator programs are useful for evaluating measurement formulae that will also be used.

Since no measurements in the real world are exact, an important aspect of measurement concerns the accuracy of information and the consequences of any measurement errors involved. You will find that your graphics calculator is especially useful in helping you to understand and to explore the effects of measurement errors and to make sensible decisions about accuracy. Although we have sampled some of the possible ways of using a graphics calculator to learn about these topics, we have certainly not dealt with all of them.

Publication Type: Book School of Education Shriro Australia Pty Limited 2000 The Authors NSW General Mathematics - Preliminary Course http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6312
 Item Control Page