Education Technology

Calculus with the TI-89

Activity Overview

In this Computer Algebra System (CAS) activity, students will explore the concept of limits of functions, and use CAS to demonstrate the definition of derivative.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the CBR 2™ and CBL 2™ to the calculator
  • Install TI Connect™ using the TI connectivity cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 6 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Explore the concept of the limit of a function f(x) as x approaches zero, infinity, or any other arbitrary value
  • Investigate the horizontal and vertical asymptotes of a rational function; graphically, numerically, and symbolically
  • Examine other important limits


  • Use the CBL™/CBR™ to collect distance data
  • Analyze the distance-time and velocity-time graphs using the calculator programs
  • Find the relationship between distance and time graphs


  • Understand that CAS can be used to demonstrate the definition of the derivative using the difference quotient
  • Visualize the area under a curve using Riemann sums


  • Model data using the logistic equation, study slopefields, and approximate the solution using Euler's method or the Runge-Kutta method
  • Use the deSolve command to obtain an analytical solution
  • After the Activity

    Students answer questions on the Activity sheet.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary