I’m using the Twelve Days of Christmas (and perhaps a few extra days besides) to do something that I should have done a long time ago: collect past series of posts into a single, easy-to-reference post. The following posts formed my series on computing square roots and logarithms without a calculator.
Part 1: Method #1: Trial and error.
Part 2: Method #2: An algorithm comparable to long division.
Part 3: Method #3: Introduction to logarithmic tables. At the time of this writing, this is the most viewed page on my blog.
Part 4: Finding antilogarithms with a table.
Part 5: Pedagogical and historical thoughts on log tables.
Part 6: Computation of square roots using a log table.
Part 7: Method #4: Slide rules
Part 8: Method #5: By hand, using a couple of known logarithms base 10, the change of base formula, and the Taylor approximation .
Part 9: An in-class activity for getting students comfortable with logarithms when seen for the first time.
Part 10: Method #6: Mentally… anecdotes from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman and me.
Part 11: Method #7: Newton’s Method.