A View from the Back of the Envelope top

On Being Approximate
Fermi Questions
Knowledge you can work with...

precision and simplicity in balance

What is being approximate?

Why be approximate?
It gives you more tools, and generally makes things easier.

How do you do it?

How to simplify a number
(Rounding | Order of magnitude | Exponential Notation | Memorable numbers )

Working with uncertainty
( Bounding | Honesty)

The power of approximation
( "What order of magnitude is ..." game
| Easy math with exponential notation and orders of magnitude
| Fermi Questions
| Developing "deep" understanding )

A View from the Back of the Envelope
Comments encouraged. - Mitchell N Charity <mcharity@lcs.mit.edu>