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How to Think Like a Mathematician by Kevin Houston

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CHAPTER 29

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Modular arithmetic

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This is the kind of arithmetic I like.

Chico in The Magnificent Seven

When I was a student I was not particularly impressed with modular arithmetic. Initially, to me, it seemed like an abstract toy to play with. It didn’t look as though it was useful or deep. Now I fully appreciate it as I have seen it used repeatedly, and widely, in real-life applications such as cryptography (which includes internet security), data storage, bar-codes, ISBN details (on the backs of books) and even magic tricks.

The idea of modular ...

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