# Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab

*From*: jfh <john.harper@xxxxxxxxx>*Date*: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 12:49:29 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 4, 4:04 pm, TideMan <mul...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Nov 3, 11:21 pm, n...@xxxxxxxxx wrote:

In article <f9436995-4e6e-42ca-8f7d-e8d144891...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,

TideMan <mul...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Nov 3, 8:23=A0pm, frank <fr...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Mon, 02 Nov 2009 21:45:47 -0500, user1 wrote:

They should also learn how to do square roots by hand.

I swear I learned how to do this in high school but completely forget the

method. =A0How does it go?

It was intermediate school (=3Djunior high in US?) for me and I remember

that you have to pair off the digits from the right, but then what?

As usual, Google can tell us:

http://www.itl.nist.gov/div897/sqg/dads/HTML/squareRoot.html

It's also a stupid way to do it, and has been for 300 years. Solving

the equation x^2 = a is FAR better, whether you use binary chop,

Newton-Raphson or iterative linear interpolation. And, yes, you

can do any of those in your head with a little practice.

Regards,

Nick Maclaren.

The point is not whether it's a stupid method or what the best method

is, but what is "good" for students to learn (in addition to Fortran,

of course).

Back in the 50's, another of the things that was "good" for us to

learn was how to add up in our heads columns of pounds, shillings and

pence, row by row. Starting from the right you had base 12 pence,

then base 20 shillings, then pounds. I remember we got quite good at

it, but I've lost that skill now.

The most complicated calculation in that area was long division of

pounds shillings and pence. My father-in-law said he only had to use

it once in his life after leaving school: when he was treasurer of a

society that ran a bus trip and he had to do something like

dividing 37 pounds 14 shillings and sixpence by 29 to find out how

much to charge each person. Addition and subtraction of non-decimal

units still afflict us though, with hours, minutes, seconds and

degrees, minutes, seconds.

John Harper

.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*nmm1

**References**:**Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*Florian Xaver

**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*user1

**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*frank

**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*TideMan

**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*nmm1

**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab***From:*TideMan

- Prev by Date:
**Re: blank in assignment Fortran IV** - Next by Date:
**Re: blank in assignment Fortran IV** - Previous by thread:
**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab** - Next by thread:
**Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab** - Index(es):