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The little paragraph with the above title on page 170 of the Mathematical Gazette has interested me, as I have been able to offer a career to quite a number of girls just leaving school with Higher School Certificate in Mathematics. It has been in mechanised scientific computing. I use the word mechanised rather than mechanical, because the latter may give the false impression of routine and drudgery, whereas the former correctly conveys the fact that mechanical aids are used to lighten the labour.
Several games, such as the “Window Reader”, “Nim”, and “Bachet’s weights problem”, have a theory dependent on the scale of 2. (See, for example, Rouse Ball, Mathematical Recreations and Essays.) Here we give a discussion and some generalisations of two such games, the “Tower of Hanoi” (Rouse Ball, 11th ed., p. 303) and the “Chinese Rings” (Rouse Ball, p. 305).
The need for fixed, uniform, standards of Weights and Measures was early acknowledged in this country. Phoenicians, Saxons, Scandinavians and Romans had each brought some system of measurement, but inevitably variations throughout different parts of the land were rife. In the reign of King Edgar, some 100 years before the Norman Conquest, a law required a set of weights and measures to be kept at Winchester, and William I, acknowledging these standards, tried to preserve them by a decree stating that they should be used in all parts of the country This did little more than accentuate the irregularities.