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 <f94369954e6e42ca8f7de8d144891...@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,
NewtonRaphson 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 fatherinlaw 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 nondecimal
units still afflict us though, with hours, minutes, seconds and
degrees, minutes, seconds.
John Harper
.
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