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A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers [typescript carbon PLUS final offprint]

A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers [typescript carbon PLUS final offprint]

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A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers [typescript carbon PLUS final offprint]

by Shannon, Claude E. [Elwood]

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About This Item

New York City: Bell Telephone Laboratories, [no date stated]. Wraps. Very Good. [1]-5 pages. 10 7/8 x 8 3/8 inches. Typescript carbon on thin paper printed recto only. Paperclip affixed upper left with older rust stains visible.

Provided WITH the final paper in offprint form:
90-93 pages. 10 x 7 1/8 inches. Publisher's original printed blue wrappers. Stapled. Wraps. First published in American Mathematical Monthly, Vol 57, (Feb. 1950), pp 90-93. Offered here is an undated typescript carbon of that paper.

While we don't understand the mathematics here, one comment is fun: "If we were using this notation, department stores would find it much more difficult to camouflage the price of goods with $.98 labels." The typescript carbon in Shannon's files finishes there. But the final paper [ as offered here ] includes additional material, including a final paragraph explaining one reason for this notation:

"Symmetrical notation offers attractive possibilities for general-purpose computing machines of the electronic or relay types. In these machines, it is possible to perform the calculations in any desired scale and only translate to the scale ten at input and output. The use of asymmetrical notation simplifies many of the circuits required to take care of signs in addition and subtraction, and to properly round off numbers." (p.93)

"At the close of the decade, the [American Mathematical] Monthly published a beautiful, long paper by Andre Weil called the Future of Mathematics. It also published a short note in computer science by Claude Shannon called "A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers." Both papers foretold the future of mathematics." (Ewing, p. 134)

PROVENANCE: The personal files of Claude E. Shannon (unmarked). One of four typescript carbons of this paper from Shannon's files.

REFERENCES:
Sloane and Wyner, "Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers," #57
Shannon, Claude E., "A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers" in American Mathematical Monthly, Vol 57, (Feb. 1950), pp 90-93.
Ewing, John H., "A Century of Mathematics : Through the Eyes of the Monthly", p.134, 201-204.

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Details

Bookseller
Kuenzig Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
28668
Title
A Symmetrical Notation for Numbers [typescript carbon PLUS final offprint]
Author
Shannon, Claude E. [Elwood]
Format/Binding
Wraps
Book Condition
Used - Very Good
Quantity Available
1
Publisher
Bell Telephone Laboratories
Place of Publication
New York City
Date Published
[no date stated]
Weight
0.00 lbs
Keywords
BIBLIO-LIVE-1 ABAA-RBMS-2022

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About the Seller

Kuenzig Books

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Topsfield, Massachusetts

About Kuenzig Books

Kuenzig Books specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We handle ephemera and artifacts including early computer material, the history of communications, and other innovations that have affected the way we live and work. We also deal in scientific instruments (didactic and professional), a broad range of documentary photography and ephemera, and other eclectic material as luck and interest provides.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Recto
The page on the right side of a book, with the term Verso used to describe the page on the left side.
Wrappers
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback. Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for...
Offprint
A copy of an article or reference material that once appeared in a larger publication.

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