Computers Versus Mathematics: Round 2
Cowie, James B.
Fremgen, James M.
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In "The Accounting Review" of April 1969, A. Wayne Corcoran matched the computer against mathematics in a fight for the accountant's attention At the very outset, he acknowledged his bias in favor of mathematics. This was neither surprising nor disturbing, as people who are wholly neutral on a subject seldom take the time to write about it. Corcoran, however, went a step beyond bias. He tied the computer's right hand behind its back. As a result, mathematics was declared the winner of what we believe was a "fixed" fight. Our purpose here is to untie the computer's right hand so that it may do itself justice, and this does not involve taking swings at mathematics. The com- puter and mathematics are not inherently competitors. They contest only for the limited time and talents of the student and the practitioner of accounting (or, for that matter, of any other discipline). Nor are they the only contestants for the ac- countant's attention. Thus, we are concerned here with only one segment of a narrowly defined problem.
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