[Tutor] Need more precise digits

Tim Peters tim.one@home.com
Sun, 2 Dec 2001 16:35:13 -0500


[dman]
> Interesting stuff here :-).  I've never seen continued fractions
> before (SE majors don't need any math beyond Calc 3, Discrete 2,
> Prob & Stat 1, and Diff. Eq.).  I've also never seen the Fibonacci
> numbers except in CS examples.  This is the first time I've seen them
> applied somewhere.

Whether you're required to or not <wink>, you should pick up "Concrete
Mathematics", by Knuth, Graham and Patashnik.  It's a wonderful intro to the
particular areas of discrete math of most use in Comp Sci.  Some of it is
hard going, but you'll quickly learn to skim over those parts ...

The Fibonacci numbers have a surprising connection to Euclid's GCD (greatest
common divisor) algorithm:  it turns out that pairs of successive Fibonacci
numbers are the worst cases for that algorithm, and, in fact, that in turn
"is because" every partial quotient in the continued fraction expansion of
phi is 1.  How is all this connected?  Read the book <wink>.