I loved the “Little Professor” calculator/educational toy. It was created from Texas Instruments in 1979. Little Professor was easy to transport, thanks to its convenient hand-held size. It was also easy on the eyes, thanks to its attractive design, which depicted a professor with a white mustache reading a book under its keypad. The top of the device (which formed the top of the Professor’s head) was appropriately shaped like a graduate’s mortarboard. It also housed the LED display, which was positioned right above his eyes. When you read the LED display, it was like reading what was going on in the Professor’s brain.
Unlike a calculator, though, the Little Professor did not do the math for its young users. Instead, it suggested math problems to the user that could be solved through addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction. The Professor came with four colorful game cards, one for each type of problem, to facilitate the mathematical fun. The user would then work out the problem on paper and enter the answer into the Little Professor’s keypad. If the answer was correct, the Little Professor would award that person points. Little Professor also offered five levels of difficulty to keep budding math geniuses on their toes.
Little Professor was quite successful in its time and it is still produced today by Texas Instruments in a sleek model that has replaced the old-school LED display with a digital readout.