Las Vegas 2009

The second Winter Meeting of The Oughtred Society was held at The Atomic Testing Museum held in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 21, 2009. It was well attended with 26 participants and a number of wives. Among the participants were Simon van der Salm from The Netherlands, Riki Nakamoto from Hawaii and Bill Walker from Canada. Others came from as far away as New York, Georgia and Texas. Festivities got off to a rousing start Friday evening with a family style dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy “where wine flowed like water.”
Consistent with the education theme of the meeting, Saturday’s program included a presentation by Joe Pasquale, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego, on his annual slide rule seminar. As a follow-on, Kate Matthews gave an overview of the Society’s plans to develop an active outreach program for junior and senior high students encouraging numeracy, the mathematical equivalent of literacy.
Mike Konshak reported on his successful program to supply slide rules to teachers and students for classroom use. He has sent slide rules to eight different schools this school year, with six schools currently using his loaned slide rules. In addition, he has organized partners in Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and Japan to furnish slide rules to teachers and students.

Attendees brought numerous slide rules and slide rule-related items for display that offered learning opportunities for all. Favorite activities included viewing the displays and exchanging information with other attendees.

Bob Koppany expeditiously conducted the auction, where bargains galore prevailed. A very clean K&E Sperry watch-type slide rule was knocked down at $350, a Dempster RotaRule went for less than $200, a new owner acquired a Stanley "Gunter type" two-foot two-fold carpenters rule for $70 and a K&E Deci-Lon for $31. Many slide rules, some comparatively exotic, changed hands for only $10 to $20. Anyone who may have lost money in a Las Vegas casino should have been able to recapture his losses through bargain slide rule prices. Sales were so good that Clark McCoy arrived with several boxes of rules from a donated collection and left with only a few rules.
It was remarkable what the meeting team was able to do with a mere $35.00 registration fee. Those who attended this second Winter Meeting enjoyed a well-balanced and convivial gathering. Tom Wyman