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Topic: [HM] mathematicians known by their initials
Replies: 34   Last Post: Aug 31, 2001 3:53 AM

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Tony Mann

Posts: 91
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [HM] Radians and Fortran
Posted: Aug 31, 2001 3:53 AM
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John Harper wrote:

<< Some Fortran compilers have SIN, COS, ATAN etc for radians and
SIND, COSD, ATAND etc for degrees; that is convenient (and Fortran
users without such compilers can easily write their own modules
to include them, and the standard constant pi which Algol 68 has
but no Fortran compiler that I have ever met does.) >>



Which is a source of error. I worked on an old subroutine library which
included "smooth" versions of step functions. A user reported problems
with one of these and when I investigated it appeared the supposed step
function was uniformly zero - because the calculation relied on a
function SIN (PI*X) and PI was undefined! The danger with using
"meaningful" variable names in programming is that they lead one
subconsciously to believe that the variable has the value it "says" it
has, so that errors like this slip through.

Apologies for being a bit off-topic!

Regards from hot London

Tony





Date Subject Author
8/2/01
Read [HM] mathematicians known by their initials
Chris Linton
8/2/01
Read Re: [HM] mathematicians known by their initials
OTERO@xavier.xu.edu
8/2/01
Read Re: [HM] mathematicians known by their initials
John Harper
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John Conway
8/18/01
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Matt Insall
8/18/01
Read Re: [HM] Approximate Euclidean angle-trisection (was 1755 or 1775?)
John Conway
8/19/01
Read Re: [HM] Approximate Euclidean angle-trisection (was 1755 or 1775?)
Matt Insall
8/8/01
Read Re: [HM] mathematicians known by their initials
Ed Sandifer

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