Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. — 275 p.For those engineers and scientists who use computers to solve their problems only to discover new, subtle problems in their results, this book is a welcome quick guide to trouble-shooting. Offering practical advice on detecting and removing the insidious bugs that plague finite-precision calculations, real Computing outlines techniques for preserving significant figures, avoiding extraneous solutions (those ridiculous "answers" that turn up all too often), and finding efficient iterative processes for solving nonlinear equations. Anyone who computes with real numbers (for example, floating-point numbers stored with limited precision) tends to pick up a few computing "tricks"--techniques that increase the frequency of useful answers. But where there might be ample guidance for a computor grappling with linear problems, there is little help for someone negotiating the nonlinear world--and it is this need that Forman Acton addresses. His book presents a wealth of examples and exercises (with answers) to help a reader develop problemformulating skills--thus learning to avoid the common pitfalls that software packages seldom detect. It presumes some experience with standard numerical methods--but for beginners in real computing, it will lend a touch of realism to topics often slighted in introductory texts.
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