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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Re: 1`2 == 1*^-10

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg71634] Re: 1`2 == 1*^-10
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 05:37:15 -0500 (EST)

On 11/24/06 at 1:17 AM, chris at chiasson.name (Chris Chiasson) wrote:

>One reason a person may want to work with low precision (or
>accuracy) is when the given data is already of low precision (or
>accuracy). For instance, I only know how tall I am to within half an
>inch or so. If I were doing a calculation involving my height, I
>would probably enter it as:

>height=6*12+1``0

>That's already down to 1.857 digits of precision.

Wouldn't it be simpler and more efficient to enter such data as 
a machine precision number and round results from computations 
to an appropriately later? The advantage of this approach is all 
computations would be done by Mathematica using machine 
precision which should allow them to proceed at the maximum 
possible speed. And it doesn't seem to me there would be any 
difficulty in rounding results to two significant digits.
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