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Old 01-31-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer? Or, how does a computer use them?
I know the calculator application uses them, but I think that a computer also uses them for general operation. Am I right? Does a computer use math to run a program; save something; boot an operating system? And if it does, do you know how?

Could you give me some specific examples of how it would be used. So let's say there is an algorithm for saving a document, how does math factor into this command? Or does it? I know the actual text in the program contains no math but does the computer use math somehow to carry out the command?
I'm not sure if that is terribly clear, I really want to know how math is used, not just that it is.

Does anyone have a specific example? Does anyone have an example of where the comp. uses one, or more, of the arithmetic operations to complete a task?
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

the entire fabric of computer science is based on math.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

Thanks Darkseeker, but that doesn't really help.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

Hmmm, it kinda sounds like you want us to answer a homework question for you...
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

You've already posted this once here. There's no need to post exactly the same thing again.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

not homework at all, I use maths a lot and am thinking of transferring to computing, or working with computers and don't know how the second truly uses the first.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: What do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing do for a computer?

assuming that you use maths a lot then I'd have assumed that you knew the kind of things that'd be used in maths on computing, because you'd be aware of the applications.

for example Fourier transforms are used to take a sampled waveform and determine the frequency.

but you're asking what add, subtract, multiply and divide functions are used, which lets face it is pretty basic maths.

which is why this sounds just like a home work question. not a serious thinking of course change.

if you're currently studying maths, or working with maths, and think that you want to work with a computer then don't think that skills will be immediately transferable.
any maths functions used in computers are completely transparent to the end user.
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