Help talk:Calculation

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This is the discussion/talk page for: Help:Calculation.

Suggestion: Wiki based interactive math[edit]

I have a vision of a wiki project on interactive web based math. From wikipedia articles, the user should find interactive free tools that achievies web based calculation, visulization, simulation, modelling and symbolic math. A commercial software such as Maple, Matlab and MathCAD should not be required for running computer simulations.

Where is the appropriate place to discuss this?

Application examples that I have in mind:

  • Web based unit conversion: When reading an article about for example Celcius, the user should be able to access a tool where he can enter a temperature in a field or using a slide control, and convert it between Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Celcius and Rankine.
  • Web based formula calculation: When reading any wikipedia article about a math formula, the user should be able to enter numerical values of the parameters and get numerical results. Sometimes a certain interactive tool page may be designed for the formula, where controls such as text boxes, radio buttons, slide bars, etc, can be found. There should also be a generic way to calculate any formula found in wikipedia, for example by accessing a tool from the background menu, or by copying the formula into some kind of mathematical sandbox or private notebook web page.
  • Web based interactive plots: In plots, the user should be able to elaborate with different parameter values and generate new plots.
  • Web based animation: Models of dynamic processes may be visualized by means of plots with an aditional time dimension, i.e. by animations. Examples are math formulas with a time dimension, but also electrical circuits, physical phenomena, etc.
  • Web based stochastic simulation: It should be possible to visualize the behaviour of models of stochastic processes, for example queuing theory applications such as computer networks, that change their behaviour on a time-to-time scale.
  • Web based algorithm simulation: It should be possible to run algorithms documentet by flow charts, signal flow charts, or mathematical style pseudo code, in view to test it for certain values, and to visualize the behaviour.
  • Web-based component-based graphical programming and modelling: Users should be able to build complex system models by linking and interconnecting various wiki objects, for example math formulas, algorithms, scripts, lock-up tables, software components, electrical circuit models, plots, and interactive controls into their own wiki documents. Each entity may be graphically represented by a block in a flow chart, state-flow diagram, signal/data flow diagram, UML diagram, etc, and the user may copy and paste such blocks between models. In some cases, a commercial tool may be required to design a block, but not to utilize it in a model. The model may be published on a wiki server, publically or on a private note page. It may also be saved and run locally using some freeware software. This resembles the old mathCad/MathConnex commercial software, where OLE linking and embedding was used to interconnect various math blocks, for example mathcad formulas and pseudo code scripts, matlab functions, Excel scheats, spice models of electrial circuits, etc.
  • Web based simulation of dynamic systems. Similar to Simulink models.
  • Web based symbolic math: The user should be able to elaborate algebraically with formulas in for example wikipedia. See for example MathCAD.
  • Web based audio and video processing: The user should be able to apply various algorithms on his own recorded sound, video and documents.

The calculations should normally be carried out at the client side, to relieve the wiki web server from load. However, in some cases it might be interesting that the server generates a "cashed" version of a plot or an animation, for some common parameter cases.

In computer simulation, distributed computing is important, and sometimes we want to distribute the model over different machines. Different blocks and/oror different parameter cases, may be simulated on different machines. The distributed computing may be carried out by a local computer cluster, or by a worldwide peer-to-peer network of users sharing each others capacity. A web based user interface for controlling the distributed computing is also a vision.

To achieve efficient computer simulation, there should be means of controlling cashing, look-up tables, etc. Only changed values should be recalculated, as in a spread-sheet document or in MathCAD.

Mange01 17:53, 20 June 2007 (UTC)



Wouldn't it be nice to have a bot update this page whenever (non-minor/substantial) edits are made to the version at Meta? JIMp talk·cont 15:33, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Decimal place accuracy[edit]


Is there any way to force a calculation to 2dp? Setting "round" to 2 half works, but omits any zeros (i.e. an answer of 2.5634 gives 2.56, but 2.598 gives 2.6 not 2.60.

Thanks —User:MDCollins (talk) 15:14, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Leading zero[edit]

Knowing my luck, there's likely a simple fix for this but I can't seem to find it, so ...
Is there a way to suppress the leading zero in the output? For example, if I put in {{#expr:1/4}}, I'd like to see .25 instead of 0.25. Simple enough, right? I used to think so. Used to ... — Grugnir (talk) 16:16, 18 October 2010 (UTC)