posted by Patty

Suppose you are comparing two numbers that are greater than 100. You want to find the smaller of the numbers. How many pairs of digits might you have to compare before you have your answer? Explain

1. Steve

Actually, there is no way to tell.

If both numbers have n digits (n>=3) then you might have to compare n pairs of digits, if the first (n-1) digits of each are the same.

I think the implication here is that the numbers are between 100 and 999, so if the first two digits of each are the same, all 3 digits will have to be compared.

This just shows that problems must be carefully stated, even for 3rd-graders!

2. N

1500 and 200

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