August 18, 2005 at 1:14 AM by Dr. Drang
A few days ago, I was looking up information on mechanical calculators (don’t ask). I ran across an article on the Friden SRW, which had the ability to extract square roots with the push of a single button. This was a big deal for a device consisting of motor-driven gears. As it turns out, the algorithm used to get the root was based on the summation of odd integers trick that I had just learned a couple of weeks ago. Maybe this is a sign that I should quit my job and study number theory. Or maybe it’s a sign that I spend too much time looking at nerdy things on the Internet.