When lives depend on calculations, human error can kill. From the early days of computing, one problem has been that they generally work with a fixed number of digits, creating rounding errors. Chaos Theory has shown new ways in which computer arithmetic can give misleading results. Such problems are not just theoretical - legend has it that one programmer became rich transferring the fractions of a penny lost in rounding errors into his own account!
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently nearly 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.
Professor Tony Mann
Head of Department, Mathematical Sciences, Univeristy of Greenwich