Digit Sum Arithmetic
San José State University

Thayer Watkins
Silicon Valley,
Tornado Alley
& BB Island

Digit Sum Arithmetic

This material examines the arithmetic of digit sums. Some of the relationships are merely interesting, others are simply amazing. First some definitions are required.

The digit sum of a number, say 152, is just the sum of the digits, 1+5+2=8. If the sum of the digits is greater than nine then the process is repeated. For example, the sum of the digits for 786 is 7+8+6=21 and the sum of the digits for 21 is 3 so the digit sum of 786 is 3. In some places this concept of the digit sum of a number is called its reduced digit sum, but that terminology becomes too cumbersome. As in the preceding material the sum of the digit of a number may be different from its digit sum. The digit sum is the end result of repeatedly computing the sum of the digits until a single digit answer is obtained. The digit sum of a number n is denoted as DigitSum(n).

Here are illustrations of the properties of digit sum arithmetic. The first are pretty mundane but the latter ones can be justifiably characterized as amazing. In the following a and b stand for any terminating decimal number. This includes integers as a subcategory.

These properties are analyzed in the following readings:

HOME PAGE OF applet-magic
HOME PAGE OF Thayer Watkins