Daily Challenge Day 55

words are not enough…

Do I have math thingy?


Nope. No MathML. Though apparently wordpress.com supports LaTeX. It does not appear to work here. Apparently jetpack should fix that, though seems not to. {I haven’t included the tests, as they produced a mess.}

Then again more interested in calculations than pretty pictures of mathematical expressions, and I don’t necessarily find all that textbook formatting all that more meaningful than mathematical expressions in computer source code. For that matter find expressions in source code more meaningful.  A “for … loop” more meaningful than a capital sigma for summation, and sums are more meaningful than integrals. When it comes to the practical, then integrals tend to get replaced by sums in any case: after all that is what the elongated ‘s’ means. Crazy really! Start with a Riemann Sum which gets replaced by an integral, which we convert back to a sum of small finite elements, instead of working with the infinitesimal. So calculus is interesting, but rarely used in practice, and most of the theory we derived using calculus during formal studies can be derived for the common general use cases without calculus: and for the more complex situations end up dealing with approximate numerical methods. Its kind of circular, as with a lot of things in our modern world, we seem to lose sight of where we came from and where we are going. That is we start with the complex and struggle back to the simple, when anyone with half a brain would have started with the simple.

A world lost in its own self-absorbed sophistication.

There was I thinking I didn’t have anything to write, and really wanting to get back to modifying my spreadsheets. Actually trying to shift stuff, I’ve been doing in MS Word into MS Excel. What I was doing in MS Word has evolved, linking Word to Excel seems like a cumbersome approach to simplify the task. It seems more productive to shift the work to Excel, it’s where most of the work is done, and in the past I produced summary sheets and schedules in Excel. Its just that for this particular type of work, certification, our default approach was based on a variation of our standard letterhead in MS Word.

The format of my certificates are based on a request for further information I once received, after a telephone conversation it was concluded I didn’t need to submit pages of calculations just a summary indicating I’d done the additional calculations and my conclusion. In that situation it was a simple written paragraph, and it involved a canopy or shed. However, calculations had been submitted.

Since then the certificates have evolved. First because my dads certificates of independent technical expert are rejected due to lack of independence: he’s typically declared to be the designer as first person to look at the proposed structure, so now he tends to submit the calculations. Whilst my certificates for balustrades largely dependent on test results which needed summarising.

In effect my MS Word “certificates of structural adequacy” are now acquiring more content from my spreadsheets where I do the actual calculations. So it would be more efficient to scrap the use of Word, and generate a summary sheet directly in Excel. That way I can work through the calculations and they automatically get summarised: though there is a tendency for too much variation in the calculations for it to be that simple. So I would probably end up rebuilding the summary sheet on each project, making it little better than transferring the numbers to MS Word. Then again I hate MS Word, so that alone is a good reason to remove it from the process. Yes, thats the way to go.