Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
- When was it?
- Where was it?
- How did you?
- How did you feel about it?
Sample 1:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During my high school years, I took a fondness for astronomy and often found myself stargazing on clear nights. One evening, I manually calculated the distance between Earth and Mars using a telescope and basic trigonometry.
The event transpired on a serene summer night. I positioned myself atop our home’s terrace, the expanse of the cosmos stretching endlessly above me. To navigate through my calculations, I employed connectors such as ‘initially’, ‘furthermore’, and ‘consequently’.
Firstly, I pinpointed Mars in the night sky using my modest telescope. Based on its observed position relative to certain fixed stars, I could estimate its current elevation angle. With Earth as one point and Mars as another, I imagined a triangle formed with the sun. Having some foundational knowledge from my astronomy books, I knew the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, and using this as my baseline, I delved into trigonometric calculations. As I jotted down equations, adjusting for known astronomical constants and variables, I gradually honed in on an approximate distance. The orchestra of nocturnal sounds, from distant owls to rustling leaves, played in harmony with my thoughts. By midnight, with a satisfied smile, I had my answer.
The entire process was incredibly refreshing. While I was aware that professional astronomers had more accurate figures, deriving them on my own instilled in me a profound sense of achievement. It bridged the abstract world of mathematics with the tangible beauty of the universe.
Sample 2:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
A memorable instance of undertaking a lengthy calculation without technological aids was during a trek in the Himalayas. Our group, curious about the height we had ascended from base camp, decided to gauge it using old-school barometric methods.
The experience unfolded on a crisp morning. Surrounded by majestic snow-capped peaks, our makeshift camp was nestled on a grassy plateau. I incorporated connectors such as ‘firstly’, ‘subsequently’, and ‘in the end’ to guide my thoughts sequentially.
Firstly, I used an aneroid barometer that I always carried in my trekking kit. By measuring the atmospheric pressure at our current altitude and comparing it with the known pressure at sea level, I aimed to calculate our height above the base camp. Taking into account the temperature, which I measured with a traditional mercury thermometer, I further refined my calculations. Each step required careful attention: consulting old altitude-pressure charts, applying formulas, and making necessary corrections. The sun journeyed across the azure sky, casting shifting shadows over our notes and instruments. After hours of meticulous work and cross-referencing, a consensus was reached.
Completing this task without electronic tools amidst the grandeur of nature was immensely rewarding. It wasn’t just about the numbers; it was about connecting with traditional methods, relying on manual precision, and understanding our environment. The realization that we stood thousands of meters above sea level, deduced from basic principles, was a testament to the enduring power of human ingenuity.
Sample 3:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During a company workshop on problem-solving in the bustling heart of Tokyo, I was given an unexpected challenge: to compute the total sales projection for the next quarter without the crutch of electronic tools.
This endeavour took place in a sleek, high-rise conference room. Outside, the city pulsed with life, a juxtaposition to our intense focus within. To scaffold my calculations and maintain a logical sequence, I leaned on connectors like ‘initially’, ‘thereafter’, and ‘ultimately’.
Starting off, I gathered all the sales data available from the past months. The paper was replete with numbers, percentages, and projections. By establishing a pattern of growth and considering seasonal fluctuations, I started constructing a formula that would help predict the sales for the subsequent quarter. I had to pause, analyze, and proceed at every juncture. The distant hum of Tokyo’s traffic served as a rhythmic backdrop to this marathon of math. Using iterative processes, ratios, and some educated guesses, I pieced together a comprehensive projection. By late afternoon, as rays of the setting sun bathed our room in a golden glow, I confidently presented my figures.
Emerging from this rigorous manual computation, I was awash with a blend of exhaustion and exhilaration. The endeavour was a reminder of the elegance of pure mathematics, a world often overshadowed by our digital dependencies. Such a hands-on approach, I felt, offered a deeper, more intuitive understanding of numbers and their interplay.
Sample 4:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During my university years in Oxford, my roommate and I engaged in a playful bet: to determine the number of bricks used in constructing the iconic Radcliffe Camera, relying purely on estimation and manual calculations.
This playful endeavour commenced on a cool, drizzly afternoon. The Radcliffe Camera, an architectural marvel, stood imposingly before us, its curved facade both awe-inspiring and daunting. I used connectors such as ‘to begin with’, ‘subsequently’, and ‘finally’ to structure my methodology.
To begin with, I made a rough estimate of a single brick’s dimensions. With this as a baseline, I then deduced the area a set of bricks would cover. Subsequently, pacing around the structure and making educated guesses regarding its depth and curvature, I attempted to determine the building’s total surface area. The rain, which had started as a gentle drizzle, soon became a persistent downpour, making our task simultaneously challenging and fun. We deduced an approximate volume after gauging the Radcliffe Camera’s visible exterior and considering its internal dimensions. Taking a moment to sip warm tea from a nearby café, we finally divided this volume by our initial brick estimation.
While our method was undoubtedly rudimentary and the result far from precise, the exercise instilled in us a deep appreciation for the intricacies of architecture and mathematics. Far more than a mere number, our calculation symbolized the union of logic, creativity, and sheer human ingenuity in the face of a daunting task.
Sample 5:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
I vividly recall a summer during my university days when I was deeply engrossed in researching ancient maritime navigation. This led me to attempt to manually calculate the distance sailors would have travelled between two prominent old ports without using any modern tools or references.
The episode unfolded on a balmy evening in our university’s historic library, a sanctuary of knowledge with towering bookshelves and leather-bound tomes. To ensure coherence in my approach, I employed connectors such as ‘initially’, ‘subsequently’, and ‘in conclusion’.
Initially, I started by identifying the two ports in ancient maps – Alexandria in Egypt and the ancient city of Carthage. With rudimentary scaling techniques, I measured the distance on the map using a piece of string. Subsequently, using reference books, I determined the scale of the map, converting my string measurement into actual miles. The task was not straightforward. It involved deciphering aged texts, understanding the nuances of ancient measurements, and constantly cross-referencing multiple sources. The ticking of the grand library clock punctuated my efforts, echoing the passage of time. After hours of relentless pursuit, I had an estimate that I felt closely represented the journey sailors would have embarked upon.
Reflecting on this endeavour, it was not just the thrill of discovery that was exhilarating but also the journey itself. Immersing oneself in raw calculations, away from today’s digital shortcuts, provided a unique connection to the past, bridging eras and fostering a profound and personal understanding.