In high school, the tutor had a calculator much like the TI-30XA. For scientific notation, there’s probably none better.
What some people call the “normal” way to write a number, is also known as “float”. So 1.35×10-3 is 0.00135 in float.
A real advantage of the TI-30XA is its way of toggling back and forth between scientific notation and float. If you’re in scientific, press 2nd 4 to change to float; from float, press 2nd 5 to get back into scientific notation.
Let’s say right now you’re in float. You want the number 32350 in scientific notation. Just key it in, then press 2nd 5. You’ll see it’s now in scientific: 3.235 04. Press 2nd 4, and you’re back at 32350.
Of course, to enter a number that’s already in scientific notation, you use the EE key. Therefore, the proper way to enter 3.21×105 is as follows:
3.21 EE 5.
Personally, I really enjoy the TI-30XA’s ability to toggle back and forth between scientific notation and float so conveniently.
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.