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Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2, The: Seminumerical Algorithms by Donald E. Knuth

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Chapter Four. Arithmetic

Seeing there is nothing (right well beloued Students in the Mathematickes) that is so troublesome to Mathematicall practise, nor that doth more molest and hinder Calculators, then the Multiplications, Diuisions, square and cubical Extractions of great numbers, which besides the tedious expence of time, are for the most part subiect to many slippery errors. I began therefore to consider in my minde, by what certaine and ready Art I might remoue those hindrances.

— JOHN NEPAIR [NAPIER] (1616)

I do hate sums. There is no greater mistake than to call arithmetic an exact science. There are . . . hidden laws of Number which it requires a mind like mine to perceive. For instance, if you add a sum from the bottom up, and then ...

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