I was talking to a coworker, and I noticed the calculator on his desk. It was a Texas Instrument job, (TI-86, I think), with a big screen for multiple lines and graphing. I mentioned, “Cool calculator,” and he told me some about it.
I said I have an older, but similar version from my computer science major days in college. “I still keep it with me, in my backpack,” I said.
When I got back to my desk, I picked up my backpack and pulled out my TI-36X SOLAR. I took it back to my coworker’s desk and showed him.
We compared the two intruments, and talked about mathmatical concepts that I haven’t thought about in 15 years or more. Concepts and terms that I only recognize by name, now, but that I used to use on a fairly regular basis.
I started my college career with computer science. I learned various computer languages, (Basic, FORTRAN, COBOL, C+, Binary, hexidecimal, etc.), studied calculus and logic, and was generally solidly in the mathematcal realm of college.
And then, two years into my major, I decided to switch to English. And that decision is a whole ‘nother discussion.
But I kept my calculator. For the first few months out of mathematics, I would play around with the various functions on it, just for fun. Eventually, though, I lost all skill with it. Now it’s in my backpack for use as a basic calculator — I only use the main functions of the gray and blue buttons.
I kind of miss mathemtatics, at times.