A View from the Back of the Envelope top

How to simplify a number
On Being Approximate

Part of being approximate is simplifying numbers.

We trade accuracy for greater convenience.
We substitute a nearby number which is easier to work with, or to remember.
We look for a number which is more convenient, but which is still close enough.

Some ways to simplify a number...

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


  Need a discussion of "how close is close enough?".
  And ways of describing closeness [percent error, etc]
  Dimensional analysis as an extreme form of rounding.
  Quantity calculus as "simplifying"?

  1998.Jul.02   Added History, Doables (mostly from Notes).
  1997.Aug.02   last change
  1997          created