# Long division where the quotient is larger than the dividend

1. Sep 17, 2009

### ctamasi

The question is "without a calculator, long divide 425/836. Round to the nearest hundredth. Estimate your answer before starting."

My attemp at a solution:

Well, my estimate would be approximately one half, since 400 divided by 800 would be 0.5; however, I'm not sure how to long divide a question where the quotient is larger than the dividend.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks a lot.

2. Sep 17, 2009

### LCKurtz

That would be my estimate too. The quotient won't be larger than the dividend unless the divisor is less than the dividend. Just do the long division by hand and be done with it.

3. Sep 17, 2009

### Dick

Basically you just add zeros to the numerator (i.e. divide 425000/836) and keep track of the decimal point. Look at the second example in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_division

4. Sep 17, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

This is hardly a "Calculus and beyond" problem. It's something that was taught in my day in 4th or 5th grade.

5. Sep 17, 2009

### DaveC426913

This is arithmetic, not Calculus. And certainly not Beyond.

[EDIT: Doh.]

6. Sep 17, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

Also, let's get the terms right. In the fraction a/b, b is the divisor and a is the dividend. The answer that results from division is called the quotient. With this in mind, the title should have been "Long division where the divisor is larger than the dividend"

7. Sep 17, 2009

### Physics197

LOL

The maker of this post must go to Dalhousie x]

**BTW they meant when the denominator is larger than the numerator.

And this question was on the Math 1280 assignment (Engineering mathematics)

I wish I paid more attention back in grade 5 so I could solve this with no problems.

8. Sep 17, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

It's pretty pathetic when students in a university engineering class have to be weeded out on the basis of whether they know the plain old arithmetic operation of long division.

Denominator is more-or-less synonymous with divisor, and numerator is more-or-less synonymous with dividend.

9. Sep 17, 2009

### ctamasi

Things have changed old man. You are hardly a PF contributor! Its pretty pathetic when a "homework helper" insults the very person who is asking for help. Please do me a favor and never respond to any of my posts!

10. Sep 17, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

ctamasi,
My comment was not directed at you. If you look at what I wrote, I did not say or imply that you were pathetic, but that the state of mathematical education was pathetic.

I have no doubt that you are smart enough to learn long division, but I'm saddened that an educational system can place what appears to be no importance on this very valuable technique of arithmetic.

11. Sep 17, 2009

### DaveC426913

OK, fair enough. You've caught a fair bit of flak over this.

Personal feelings aside for the moment, may I ask how it came to be that you never learned this? It may well be an alarming symptom of the current educational system. Perhaps things have indeed changed.

12. Sep 17, 2009

### ctamasi

I have learned long division however, the same day I learned it was also the last time I've ever used it. The problem is that I learned long division when I was in elementary school; little did I know that nearly 20 years later I would be studying engineering calculus. Long division is not a concept that is pushed very hard today, I think we can all agree on that. I've already graduated from two colleges, and I'm currently in University and until yesterday haven't seen long division, except for the odd ocasion, since I was a kid.

13. Sep 17, 2009

### DaveC426913

I'm a bit surprised that someone going in to Engineering would not have been using math in all sorts of hobbies as he grew up. Lng division isn't pushed; it is used by someone who needs it.

14. Sep 17, 2009

### ctamasi

Hobbies? I don't mean to be rude, but the last thing I was thinking about when I was a preteen was my future plans of studying engineering and including mathematics in my hobbies.

Anyways, I did a quick review of the concepts and I understand how to answer the question; and wouldn't you believe it, the world didn't end!

Thanks for the help?

15. Sep 17, 2009

### DaveC426913

Waitaminnit. You're going into Engineering and you're not a socially-stunted geekophile? Now you're talkin' crazy-talk.

Quick! No time to think! Who shot first? Han or Greedo?

16. Sep 17, 2009

### ctamasi

Haha. Yea I was starting to think that that was a prerequisite...

17. Sep 17, 2009

### symbolipoint

Understanding Long Division is a strongly implied prerequisite for any Engineering student. As for hobbies in which you can use long division, maybe photography is a fitting one. On the other hand, simple estimation might be just as useful. You could make comparisons of exposure time between the amount of light from the sun versus amount of light from the full moon. Realisticly today, one might quickly grab a caclulator for even the simplest numeric divisions.

18. Sep 17, 2009

### Dick

I'm with ctamasi on this. Long division is probably not taught like it used to be. Anybody know how to take square roots by hand in the long division way? I do. I wouldn't teach it to my children. ctamasi probably should have just looked it up. On the other hand what's with this vulture-fest of implied abuse and terminological nitpicking? Just answer the question and move on. This thread is not a tribute to the spirit of the forum.

Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
19. Sep 17, 2009

### DaveC426913

Neither is times tables. Or spelling. Or grammar. Or science. Or critical thinking.

This is not about the individuals here, it's about the educational system. I am glad I will not be alive when the world is run by tomorrow's generation.

20. Sep 17, 2009

### Dick

Oh, I think they'll get along somehow. I don't know classical Latin or Greek. That might have put me on somebodies dumb list at a point in time. Can we not let our frustrations with the educational system obstruct us from helping people? Hmm? Very few of these posts were in anyway helpful. Isn't there a "bitching about educational standards forum"?