> Dennis Danielson) that mentions his tables of trigonometric functions. > Rheticus calculated them to _fifteen_ decimal places. Whatever for?
At the Joint Meetings in New Orleans this week someone gave a talk in which, if my fading memory is correct, they quoted from a mathematical diary in which the writer wrote he had to go back to Rheticus' tables to get the accuracy he needed in a calculation. It might have been June Barrow-Green's talk on a pre WWI diary of a Cambridge student, or Robin Wilson's on Hardy's Oxford years. Does anyone remember? In any case, this seems to show that Rheticus' tables were still a real resource in the early 20th century! Of course this doesn't answer Woody's question about why Rheticus did this.