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Topic: [HM] Edgar Allen Poe
Replies: 5   Last Post: Mar 5, 1999 2:54 PM

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John F Harper

Posts: 214
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [HM] Edgar Allen Poe
Posted: Mar 4, 1999 2:57 PM
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On Thu, 4 Mar 1999, Jeff Miller wrote:

> In the short story "The Unparalleled Adventure Of One Hans Pfaall," Poe
> mentions the terms "spherical geometry" and "versed sine."

Both of those arise in the sort of mathematics needed for celestial
navigation and land surveying. Nowadays this is seldom taught except to
specialists in those areas, but am I right in my suspicion that in 19th
century USA it was much more widely taught, because anyone moving into
a new area out West might need to do some of their own navigation and

John Harper, School of Mathematical and Computing Sciences,
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
e-mail phone (+64)(4)463 5341 fax (+64)(4)463 5045

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