Report Number: CS-TR-70-147
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Pitfalls in computation, or why a math book isn't enough
Author: Forsythe, George E.
Date: January 1970
Abstract: The floating-point number system is contrasted with the real
numbers. The author then illustrates the variety of
computational pitfalls a person can fall into who merely
translates information gained from pure mathematics courses
into computer programs. Examples include summing a Taylor
series, solving a quadratic equation, solving linear
algebraic systems, solving ordinary and partial differential
equations, and finding polynomial zeros. It is concluded that
mathematics courses should be taught with a greater awareness
of automatic computation.