Astronauts, Purdue alumni add their contributions to new slide-rule exhibit

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Tombstone
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Astronauts, Purdue alumni add their contributions to new slide-rule exhibit

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Jerry Ross, along with about 200 other Purdue University alumni, have added their slide rules to a new exhibit at their alma mater that testifies to the past mathematical prowess of these computational devices.

The permanent display, on the first floor of the university’s Potter Engineering Center, houses the pre-digital analytical marvels, some of which were made in the 19th century and range in length from a few inches to seven feet.

"There was a point in time when the slide rule was king," said James Alleman, a professor of civil engineering who began collecting the slide rules from alumni 15 years ago. "During a period of about 400 years, anything anybody built that was of any magnitude would have required a slide rule."

Then, in the early 1970s Hewlett Packard came out with the first commercial calculator.

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http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/20 ... rules.html
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