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Program question confusion

  1. Mar 18, 2009 #1
    I'm having a problem understanding what it is N stands for. The question is

    "Write a program that will find the smallest, largest, and average values in a collection of N numbers. Get the value of N before scanning each value in the collection of N numbers."

    To me it looks like N can stand for 2 different values, it could be the total number of values the user would input but it could also represent the individual numbers that the user inputs.

    Im writing this in C#, and finding the smallest, largest, and average values im fairly confident I can do that it is just what the N is supposed represent that is throwing me off.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2009 #2
    To me, it just looks like N is referring to the whole collection of numbers in general. I don't think your prof is looking for you to specify an actual value of N, just an idea of what to do with your program.

    Welcome to cryptic programming directions 101....it has only just begun
     
  4. Mar 19, 2009 #3

    HallsofIvy

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    "Write a program that will find the smallest, largest, and average values in a collection of N numbers"

    Suppose it said:"Write a program that will find the smallest, largest, and average values in a collection of 5 numbers" or "Write a program that will find the smallest, largest, and average values in a collection of 20 numbers". Would you have a problem with that?

    I disagree with carrotcake10, I don't think this is ambiguous at all. This is simply telling you the first number input will NOT be a part of the list but will tell you how many numbers are in the list. For example, you should write a program that will accept in put like
    7
    6
    4
    -3
    2
    12
    -8
    7
    and output the largest and smallest numbers in that list of 7 numbers as well as their average.

    or accept input like
    200
    11
    32
    -24
    .
    .
    .
    for a total of 200 numbers (NOT including the first "200") and output the smallest and largest numbers in that list as well as their average.

    I would recommend something like

    int N;
    readln N;
    for (int i= 0;i< N; i++)
    {

    }
     
  5. Mar 20, 2009 #4
    Thanks for the help, now I understand what the N variable is supposed to be for now and I finished my programm this morning. Couldn't have done it with out oy.
     
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