"Logarithms Have Had Their Day," Says Professor.
That "logarithms have had their day" was the conclusion expressed by the president of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, Professor R O Street, at a meeting of the Society in the United College, St Andrews, on Saturday afternoon.
The remark followed a lecture on The arithmometer in some problems of practical mathematics. The lecturer, Dr A C Aitken, F.R.S., whose ability as a lightning calculator is well known in mathematical circles, remarked that on previous occasions he had demonstrated what could be done in the way of rapid calculation without a calculating machine; today he would show what could be done with one. Though personally he had always a liking for arithmetical work, most mathematicians disliked and avoided it. "What is sauce for the goose," he said, "is another man's poison."
He proceeded to show how a calculating machine could be used for the rapid numerical solution of complicated problems of interpolation and of algebraic and differential equations.
The election of Professor E T Whittaker, F.R.S., as an honorary member of the Society was carried unanimously, marking the twenty-fifth year of his tenure of the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, and in recognition of many services to the Society.
The President also congratulated another honorary member of the Society, Professor D'Arcy W Thompson, C.B., F.R.S., on his recently conferred knighthood.
JOC/EFR May 2016
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