New Mental Gym Tutorial!

Published on Sunday, May 25, 2014 in , , , , , , ,

DafneCholet's Calendar* photoIt's been over a year since I posted a tutorial over at the Mental Gym, so I figured it was about time for a new one!

This one is a new spin on working out the calendar for a given month and year. Yes, I have an existing Day of the Week For Any Date tutorial, and even a commercially-available version, but this new one is remarkably simple!

The new tutorial is dubbed the Quick Calendar Month Creation. It's a combination of a little-known, yet surprisingly simple calendar calculation method published by W. W. Durbin and E. Rogent in 1927, Robert Goddard's First Sunday Doomsday Algorithm, and my own approach of creating a full-month calendar to was calculations.

For those familiar with Doomsday algorithm, this isn't yet another variation of John Conway's fine work. Instead, I started with Durbin and Rogent's unusual and simple approach to dealing with the year, and adjusted the math so it meshed with Goddard's powerful work. The exact details and credits are given at the bottom of each section of the tutorial.

The result is a calendar creation routine that's quick and simple to learn, yet powerful enough to let you create calendar for any month and year back to 45 B.C., when the Julian calendar was first used!

To help you practice it more effectively, I've also developed a quiz page. The initial quizzes are simple, in order to help you master the calculation and recall required by each step, and then there's a more complete quiz, which simply has you create a calendar month for random dates. Some of you may recognize this as a modified version of my calendar quiz from Day One.

If you've never tried to do a calendar calculation before, try this out, and you might surprise yourself. If you've tried to do calendar calculations before and given up because of the difficulty of other methods, try the Quick Calendar Month Creation tutorial, and see the ease and power of this approach. Either way, I'd love to hear what you think about it in the comments!

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