# Re: Fortran vs. Octave/Matlab

*From*: nmm1@xxxxxxxxx*Date*: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 21:17:54 +0000 (GMT)

In article <3d366f17-04a8-4f73-92bf-973492b78410@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,

jfh <john.harper@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Nov 4, 4:04=A0pm, TideMan <mul...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

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).

My answer applies to that, too. Learning about iterative solution

methods is essential. Learning about the traditional form of square

root is needed only for number theoreticians.

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. =A0Starting 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.

Nah. Try working out proportion of X pounds, Y shillings and Z pence

(including farthings, of course) another such sum was.

Yes, I had to do that, but I was encouraged to convert it to pence

first :-)

It's actually quite good mental exercise, but doesn't lead anywhere

except to a familiarity with multi-base arithmetic and handling

integers in non-trivial ways. Useful skills, but not on a par with

iterative solution methods.

Regards,

Nick Maclaren.

.

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

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

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

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

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