chapter  4
1 Pages

The Greeks and the integers

You should also be aware that writing good software to compute with inte­ gers is not restricted to programming procedures for doing arithmetic operations. Consider what happens when we multiply two integers. The usual method pro­ duces many intermediate numbers that are really not needed after the product has been obtained. Unless we spot and delete them, they’ll remain in the com­ puter, occupying precious memory space. If the numbers are large, the growing accumulation of such “rubbish” can quickly draw the system to a halt. Thus we must have a way of automatically finding and deleting unnecessary numbers.