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Adding big numbers


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 11:37:05 PST
From: matthew yarbrough
Subject: math

 DEAR DR. MATH

I wrote to you already but I forget what college you go to.

What is 9,000,000,000,664,556,666,134,852,855,288  +   

8,456,789,135,799,545,743,122,546,676,565,467?
        
Matt Yarbrough


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 15:32:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: math
From: Dr. Ken

Hello there Matthew!

The Math Doctors are all students at Swarthmore College in 
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Most of us are math majors.  In response
to your addition problem, here's how I would approach the problem.  
Write the numbers down so that one of them is on top of the other, 
and so they line up evenly on the right side, like this:

             9,000,000,000,664,556,666,134,852,855,288
       + 8,456,789,135,799,545,743,122,546,676,565,467
     _________________________________________________

And then you add starting from the right side.  If you've done any 
addition of smaller numbers before, you should be able to do this 
one, too.  I'll get you started, and then see if you can finish the 
problem!

                                             1 11  11
             9,000,000,000,664,556,666,134,852,855,288
       + 8,456,789,135,799,545,743,122,546,676,565,467
     _________________________________________________
                                               420,755


Do you see how that works?  The tricky part comes when you have 
to carry the ones; that's when you get those 1's up on top of the first 
number.  

Adding big numbers isn't really any harder than adding smaller 
numbers; it just takes a while longer.  If you have trouble seeing how 
to continue, write us back, and we'll help you out!

-Ken "Dr." Math
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Addition

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