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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946

Mathematics Without Tears

Mathematics Without Tears

An interested twenty students turned up to hear Mr. Patterson. M.A., M.Sc., unfold the mysteries of "Astro-Navigation" at a meeting of the Maths and Physics Society on Thursday, July 4.

Despite the rumours of the Hons. Maths' aspirants that "Spherical Trigonometry" is just as Absorbing as "Plane Trigonometry." those present could not deny the familiarity of Kelburn Park and its environs.

"The whole subject," it was remarked, "depended on the solution of one spherical triangle." About four methods were outlined for "solving this triangle." Even if the individual steps in each method did not sink home with conviction, the thought of Mr. Patterson roaming the precincts of the College at 1946 July id l0h 24m in an attempt to shoot Acrux with an unfamiliar sextant, did kindle a very definite flame.

Later we were shown how to fill in the appropriate form. One might emphasize here, that although the navigator's job has been highly simplified, he Is still called upon for a minimum of Intelligence. Quite a minimum at that, too!

Finally it was agreed that X marks the spot. Although the altimeter reading did not appear, the height of the object can be assumed to be that of Victoria University College with little probable error in such an assumption.

A short discussion preceded the supper, which was kindly provided by Professor Miles.