
Re: quotation
Posted:
Aug 15, 1996 7:11 PM


Matthew P Wiener <weemba@sagi.wistar.upenn.edu> wrote: >>> >>>"Also the astronomers surely will not have to continue to exercise the >>>patience which is required for computation. It is this that deters them >>>from computing or correcting tables, from the construction of >>>Ephemerides, from working on hypotheses, anf form discussions of >>>observations with each other. For it is unworthy of excellent men to >>>lose hours like slaves in the labour of calculation which could safely >>>be relegated to anyone else if machines were used." > >>>said friend thinks that the author was Leibniz and i think that it >>>was Gauss. opinions, please, with a reference, if possible. > >>I think it was Charles Babbage. I don't recognize the entire quote, >>but the last sentence of your quotation is quite familiar. Neither >>Leibniz nor Gauss was proposing the use of a machine to replace human >>labo[u]r in the calculation of mathematical tables. > >Only half correct. Gauss loved doing endless calculations.
Yes and no. Gauss farmed out certain tabulations to human calculators  certainly in number theory, and probably also in his astronomical work.
Leibniz, by the way, built an "arithmometer" capable of basic arithmetic and square roots. At least according to Arnol'd's (superb) HUYGENS, BARROW, NEWTON & HOOKE.

