Thread: Random math problems

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Random math problems

    How would you write a program to pick a math problem at random? i.e. add,divide,subtract,multiply? I guess using either subroutines or not but it would most likely be in a switch statment where the math problems are each a case and then another case would be random quesitons.....any suggestions or guidance?

  2. #2
    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    That depends on how complicated you want your problems to be. Generally, you're going to have a random draw for each "element" of the problem. For example, if you wanted problems like (double-digit-number)(arithmetic-operator)(double-digit-number), you would need to generate each part. You would probably want to randomly choose the operator first, since that might set different limits on what you want your numbers to be.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    google the rand() function.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    You'd want to think about what kind of distribution you're using. One might construct an algorithm like the following:

    generateMathProblem(depth) {
        if (decideToContinue(depth)) {
            function = pickAFunction()
            for (1 .. function.arity()) {
                arguments.push_back(generateMathProblem(depth + 1))
            return apply(function, arguments)
        else {
            return randomConstant()
    newMathProblem() {
        return generateMathProblem(depth)
    Then you'd tweak the probability of decideToContinue returning true for the various depths to control how big you want your math problems to be.
    There are 10 types of people in this world, those who cringed when reading the beginning of this sentence and those who salivated to how superior they are for understanding something as simple as binary.

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