The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: typesetter's optimal number base (fun problem)
Replies: 0  

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List  
David Petry

Posts: 1,104
Registered: 12/8/04
typesetter's optimal number base (fun problem)
Posted: Jun 24, 2013 2:59 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

What is the optimal number base from the point of view of an old-fashioned typesetter?

In other words, for a typesetter to be prepared to set an arbitrary number from 0 up to 7^100 using base 7, he would need to have on hand 100 zeros, 100 ones, 100 twos, etc. for a total of 700 pieces of type. How many pieces of type would he need to have on hand to be able to set an arbitrary number in the same range, using a different base? Presumable the typesetter wishes to minimize his purchase of type, so which base would be best from his point of view?

FWIW, this is a problem my brother showed me many years ago when we were in high school. I had the impression that he invented the problem, but I'm not certain that's the case.

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.