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**Jibba Jabba****Member**- Registered: 2013-11-29
- Posts: 5

Hi

For the purpose of naming a variable in a computer program, what is the correct word that describes both parts of a fraction?

e.g. a/b

a = numerator

b = denominator

a & b = ?

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 102,938

Hi Jibba Jabba;

Variables are usually given names that tell what they do. What does a / b do in your program?

Or do you want to know what the math name for a / b is?

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.** **A number by itself is useful, but it is far more useful to know how accurate or certain that number is.**

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**Jibba Jabba****Member**- Registered: 2013-11-29
- Posts: 5

Hi bobbym

Thanks for your quick reply.

I'm using the variable to store the lowest numerical value of a and b.

If, let a = 1 and b = 2. Then lowestValue = 1

So I'm looking for a noun, 'the math name', that describes both a and b. i.e. lowestMathName

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 102,938

The minimum is the closest math term. Is this for yourself or for an assignment?

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.** **A number by itself is useful, but it is far more useful to know how accurate or certain that number is.**

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**Jibba Jabba****Member**- Registered: 2013-11-29
- Posts: 5

For myself. I'm a self taught software dev enthusiast. I'm not a student of any kind except self ed.

Thanks for your answer.

That really surprises me you know. You've got numerator, denom, quotient etc but no common name for the 2 values to share. Wow.

I'll have to name it something like lowestValue, a bit general, or lowerValueOfNumeratorDenominator, too long. That's a bit ruff. Or i'll have to make a name up but no one will know what it means.

minimum is too general. Any ideas?

This is my 1st post. Looks like a great forum. My Math level is a rusty High School grad level.

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 102,938

The whole thing a / b is called a rational number or a fraction. That is a very general statement much like saying you and I are humans. Tells you alot about us but might make it difficult to tell us apart. You have chosen Jibba Jabba as your username. You did it for a purpose. Perhaps it reminds you of something you do not want to forget. Do the same with the variable name. In programming a good variable name helps you remember what the variable does.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.** **A number by itself is useful, but it is far more useful to know how accurate or certain that number is.**

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**Jibba Jabba****Member**- Registered: 2013-11-29
- Posts: 5

Ok.

Top answer, thanks.

I'll check out the 'good variable naming' tip.

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 102,938

I do not think you will have much problems naming it, after all you did come up with Jibba Jabba. By the way, welcome to the forum.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 7,525

hi Jibba Jabba

**Welcome to the forum.**

i'll have to make a name up but no one will know what it means.

This happens a lot in maths. But you're supposed to define your terms so others do know what you're talking about.

eg.

http://www2.edc.org/makingmath/handbook/teacher/definitions/definitions.asp

If I meet a new term I look it up on

http://www.mathwords.com/a_to_z.htm

Bob

Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**Jibba Jabba****Member**- Registered: 2013-11-29
- Posts: 5

Bob, I had a look at the links. Helpful. Thanks.

And thanks for the welcome. Great forum.

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