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Beautiful numbers: the rise and decline of the British Association Mathematical Tables Committee, 1871-1965

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2 Author(s)
Croarken, M. ; Nat. Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK ; Campbell-Kelly, Martin

The Mathematical Tables Committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and latterly of the Royal Society, led British table making activity for nearly a century. During this period, table making evolved from the private passion of solitary table makers to organized groups of human computers augmented by calculating machines. The most tangible output of the committee was the Mathematical Tables Series: volumes that became a byword for perfection in accuracy and typography. After World War II, the scientific community expected that the electronic computer would take over the role of the table maker. It did, but not in the way table makers had supposed.

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 4 )