Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-21-12

Published in Applied Mathematical Sciences 2021, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 113-118.


To divide two numbers a and b, modern computers use an algorithm which is more efficient that what we humans normally do: they compute a*(1/b), where for all sufficiently small integers b, the inverse 1/b is pre-computed. For fractions, when both a and b are integers, this algorithm requires only one multiplication. Can we make the procedure even faster by not using multiplication at all? To do this, we need to represent each fraction as the sum of inverses -- which, interestingly, is how ancient Egyptians represented fractions.