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 The Trek BBS Division By Zero

 The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

 May 28 2013, 06:40 PM #1 Captain McBain Captain   Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain Division By Zero Division by 0, at least according to our modern-day knowledge, is impossible. Do you think Data would know what 49/0 is equal to?
 May 28 2013, 07:00 PM #2 xvicente Commander Re: Division By Zero I dont know about Data, but my calculator says "E" __________________ ----------------------------------------------------------- I am here to talk about Star Trek and chew bubble gum. and I'm all outta bubble gum.
 May 28 2013, 07:05 PM #3 Captain McBain Captain   Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain Re: Division By Zero Yes, the good old error message. But Data is much more advanced than a hand-held calculator. His trillions of calculations per second may just provide him with a little more insight into the question than we humans could ever hope for.
 May 28 2013, 07:16 PM #4 Pavonis Commodore Re: Division By Zero You're kidding, right? Data's no mere calculator, and he's not susceptible to Kirk-esque "logic bombs". He'd correctly say it is undefined.
 May 28 2013, 07:18 PM #5 Captain McBain Captain   Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain Re: Division By Zero No, I wasn't kidding. My thought was that in the 24th century, mathematical knowledge (especially for an android) might be way greater than what we understand today.
 May 28 2013, 07:20 PM #6 Pavonis Commodore Re: Division By Zero Then why ask specifically about Data? If there's a new definition of mathematics in the 24th century, surely anyone would be as knowledgable as Data. Why not ask if Riker would know?
 May 28 2013, 07:27 PM #7 Captain McBain Captain   Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain Re: Division By Zero Because Data's knowledge of mathematics is certainly greater than Riker's or most other humanoids. I mean, do you really think that Riker, Deanna Troi, or Worf could explain advanced calculus as well as Data?
May 28 2013, 07:32 PM   #8
trekker670
Fleet Captain

Re: Division By Zero

 Captain McBain wrote: I mean, do you really think that Riker, Deanna Troi, or Worf could explain advanced calculus as well as Data?
One could argue that they could explain it much better than Data could, since advanced mathematics is likely trivial to an advanced technological lifeform, whereas a humanoid with limited knowledge who themselves had to learn such skills would be able to relate better with the subject to whom they're trying to teach.

 May 28 2013, 07:35 PM #9 Captain McBain Captain   Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain Re: Division By Zero Yeah, I really don't see how advanced mathematics could be 'trivial' to an android, when Data consistently showed throughout the series an ability to do complex math in his head. Saying that a human would be more familiar with calculus or science than Data seems pretty farfetched.
 May 28 2013, 07:38 PM #10 Pavonis Commodore Re: Division By Zero Seeing as some pre-teen children learn calculus in TNG, and humans in real life already learn and use complex calculus, it is not at all unreasonable to assume any Starfleet officer should have a grasp of simple calculus. And if they've defined division by zero, then Riker or Worf would know about it just as well as Data would.
May 28 2013, 07:41 PM   #11
trekker670
Fleet Captain

Re: Division By Zero

 Captain McBain wrote: I really don't see how advanced mathematics could be 'trivial' to an android, when Data consistently showed throughout the series an ability to do complex math in his head
Since the mathematical definition of trivial is "simple, or immediately evident," I believe you just proved my point that complex math is indeed trivial (or at the least nearly trivial) to Data.

 Captain McBain wrote: Saying that a human would be more familiar with calculus or science than Data seems pretty farfetched.
More familiar or better at math or science, no absolutely not. Better able to teach it to someone else, absolutely.

Have you ever had a math or science teacher that found the topics simple and talked over the students' heads? I believe Data attempting to teach it to someone else would be quite similar.

May 28 2013, 08:09 PM   #12
Captain McBain
Captain

Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain
Re: Division By Zero

trekker670 wrote:
 Captain McBain wrote: I really don't see how advanced mathematics could be 'trivial' to an android, when Data consistently showed throughout the series an ability to do complex math in his head
Since the mathematical definition of trivial is "simple, or immediately evident," I believe you just proved my point that complex math is indeed trivial (or at the least nearly trivial) to Data.

 Captain McBain wrote: Saying that a human would be more familiar with calculus or science than Data seems pretty farfetched.
More familiar or better at math or science, no absolutely not. Better able to teach it to someone else, absolutely.

Have you ever had a math or science teacher that found the topics simple and talked over the students' heads? I believe Data attempting to teach it to someone else would be quite similar.
I think you could be right here.

May 28 2013, 08:12 PM   #13
Captain McBain
Captain

Location: Being congratulated on the bridge of the Enterprise after making captain
Re: Division By Zero

 Pavonis wrote: Seeing as some pre-teen children learn calculus in TNG, and humans in real life already learn and use complex calculus, it is not at all unreasonable to assume any Starfleet officer should have a grasp of simple calculus. And if they've defined division by zero, then Riker or Worf would know about it just as well as Data would.
I'm not saying they wouldn't have a grasp of calculus. I'm sure most of the adults (if not all) on Picard's ship have some grasp of calculus. But that doesn't mean they understand it perfectly. Data does understand calculus completely, without question. If he didn't then I'd be really surprised.

Also, Riker and Worf may know that 49/0 = infinity, or whatever, but to understand in depth, why this is the case, may not be something they are capable of.

 May 28 2013, 08:21 PM #14 Pavonis Commodore Re: Division By Zero It was not clear that you were asking about depth of knowledge, just that you were wondering if Data would know. Well, yes, he would, but so might Riker or Worf. And division by zero is just undefined. Think about it - how do you divide a number of objects between zero people? You can't. It's not infinity, it's meaningless.
 May 28 2013, 08:47 PM #15 Chensams Vice Admiral     Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL Re: Division By Zero I'm not math wiz but sense when does 49/0 = infinity? It's a meaningless number. __________________ Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

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