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September 25, 2023


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Arithmetic by Computer and by Human. Long multiplication, long division and logarithms are, for many, dim-remembered memories, and few now use these skills.

We will examine some of the tools that help us, from the abacus to calculators. Computers are the ultimate arithmetic tool but their method is one of the oldest, used by ancient Egyptians. We will demonstrate ways to impress friends with quick calculations and also show the link between ancient Egyptian arithmetic and today's computers.

Professor Tony Mann has taught mathematics and computing at the University of Greenwich for over twenty years. He was President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics from 2008 to 2011 and is editor of the Newsletter of the London Mathematical Society. (from gresham.ac.uk)

Course Curriculum

  • 1. Arithmetic by Computer and by Human Unlimited
  • 2. How Computers Get It Wrong: 2 + 2 = 5 Unlimited
  • 3. Proof by Computer and Proof by Human Unlimited
  • 4. User Error: Why It’s not Your Fault Unlimited
  • 5. Finding Stable Matches: The Mathematics of Computer Dating Unlimited
  • 6. Might As Well Toss a Coin: How Random Numbers Help Us Find Exact Solutions Unlimited
  • 7. This Lecture will Surprise You: When Logic is Illogical Unlimited
  • 8. When Math doesn’t Work: What We Learn from the Prisoner’s Dilemma Unlimited
  • 9. Two Losses Make a Win: How a Physicists Surprised Mathematicians Unlimited

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