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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: 86,776

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.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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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: 86,776

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.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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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: 86,776

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.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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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: 86,776

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.

Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?

Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,395

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

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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