[LMB] Old Moldy OT:

Christine Forber christine at forber.net
Tue May 9 23:40:21 BST 2006

At 03:11 PM 5/5/2006 -0500, Scott Raun wrote:
>On Fri, May 05, 2006 at 01:03:45PM -0700, J Selin wrote:
>> A common complaint with recent finance geeks (= anyone who got his
>> degree in past 10 years or so) is that they have so back-of-envelope
>> sense.  They can use excel to calculate something to the nth degree,
>> but can't provide a reliable quick estimate.
>My, that's amusing.  It's been a complaint in the science and
>engineering fields for _years_! <good story snipped>

I taught chemistry labs while I was a grad student from 
82-87. Students had quizzes at the beginning of each lab to 
ensure that they had read up on the lab of the week. Many of 
the quizzes involved some calculations. We always had log 
tables around in case anyone forgot their calculator, but I 
don't think that a single student took me up on the offer. 
Just for fun, I took my slide rule with me one day and 
offered it to the forgetful student of the week. They looked 
at me as though I were suggesting that they use an abacus. 
It was rather funny. Also pathetic in that they had no 
notion of how to estimate a reasonable answer. The 
calculator was always right. Yeah, sure.

So I'd push Harimad "last 10 years or so" back to last 20+ 


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