Education Technology

Counting Factors

Published on 09/23/2016

Activity Overview

How fast could you count the factors of 3600? In this activity students use a simple algorithm to determine the quantity of factors for any given number, the algorithm is converted into code for the TI-Nspire calculator then tested. Students are then able to explore patterns in the quantity of factors.

Objectives

Identify patterns in prime and composite numbers in relation to the quantity of factors and to develop and implement coding skills.

Vocabulary

Mathematics Coding
  • Square-root
  • Factors
  • Prime
  • Composite
  • Modular Arithmetic
  • For / Endfor
  • If / Then
  • Request
  • Disp
  • Mod

About the Lesson

In this activity students write a program to automatically count the quantity of factors for a selected number, this program can be used in conjunction with the Factors that Count activity on the Australian Curriculum Nspired website. Students use mathematical logic to build the program and then validate it by testing it over a selection of numbers. Students then look for patterns in the quantity of factors to tell a story about the original number, such as ‘what does it tell you about the original number if it has an odd number of factors?’