December 2014 Archives

On A Rational Question

One of the limitations of Professor B------'s remarkable Experimental Clockwork Mathematical Apparatus is that the numbers upon which it works are but a subset of the decimal fractions. The scheme by which they are represented is extremely flexible and serves us well for most every kind of calculation, but my fellow students and I were curious as to just how badly they might let us down...

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On An Age Of Wonders

Inspired by Monsieur J-------'s famous loom our very own Professor B------ has built a machine that weaves numbers rather than threads. Like Monsieur J-------'s ingenious creation, the operation of this Experimental Clockwork Mathematical Apparatus, or ECMA, is directed by cards in which holes have been punched in particular patterns to identify particular arithmetical and control operations and is fed numbers identified by similar cards. By carefully arranging these cards we can contrive to perform all manner of mathematical calculations literally dozens of times faster than we might manage with pencil and paper!

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