How does a computer/calculator compute logarithms? (
from tedu to programming on 22 Jun 00:35

How did the calculator crunch the input number and give us the output? I remember this question being asked in high school, and the answer being no more than a handwave. To be fair to Algebra II teachers (which is where I was first introduced to logarithms, if memory serves), the answer is beyond the scope of algebra, and lies in calculus. But it is an answer worth knowing, and it’s an answer that is very knowable, even if you don’t have a background in calculus. Calculus is the method for deriving the formula used in calculators and computers, but the formula itself is a pretty simple polynomial.

#math #programming

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