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Re: Theropod taxonomy based only on shed teeth (Re: Dromaeosaur questions (long, I think))

"Ken Carpenter" <KCarpenter@dmns.org> writes:

> I am glad that someone accepted my challenge, even if to prove me 
> wrong. :-]

I didn't accomplish that, and I still think it would make an excellent
student project.  But assuming that the equation I used was correct 
(??), and that the number of possible character state combinations is
that huge, then it appears that most of the research would have to be
done using a computer with Excel, or with some other database program
capable of handling massive amounts of data.  Since many Windoze
computers come with Excel already installed, there would be little added
expense to the project.  (Of course, this assumes that Excel can handle
tens of millions of cells).  The user input phase would be easy (a few
minutes of typing in the data, at best).  But the database program needs
the tens of millions of cells for the internal computations.

Any needed software templates should be very easy to write.  Better yet,
a lot of free Excel plug-ins (such as Monte Carlo routines, statististics
packages, and templates) can be found on the Web.

But additional programming is probably unnecessary, because the main jobs
of the program would be to search, compare, tally, summarize, and graph. 
These functions now come standard with all spreadsheet programs and
database programs.

It sounds very do-able.  Its amazing that, only 25 years ago, such a
conceptually simple project would have been considered impractical.


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