**Re: question to Mayor and MSRI**

Compute the square root the old fashion way... use the same method the calculator uses, only do it by hand!

Here are four methods to compute the square root of x.

1) Successive approximations. Simply start squaring numbers. If you get larger than x then your guess is too large, if you get smaller than x, then your guess is too small. Continue this until you are happy with your result (kind of like the old hi/lo guessing game).

2) Use the power series expansion for (1+y)^n (being careful to stay inside the radius of convergence). To use this, simply pull of as large an integer square from the number as you can, and use the forumla to get the rest. (n = 1/2).

3) Use the method you were taught in grade school. Here is a link: (Dead link: http://home.attbi.com/~rthamper/html/squareroot2.htm)

4) There is a recursive method as well, but I don't recall it. It is an application of Newton's method from Calculus.

Best luck with your computations!

--Mayor