I know something about Pascal, Mathematica and Matlab, but I dont have any idea about C,C++,C# languages.

I want to learn one of the languages that they they are fast and exact to compute some arithmetic functions for large numbers(for example larger than $10^3000$). I asked somebody and he said he used C++ and he said I computed this sequence in less than 10 min.

I want to know C, C++, C# and visual kind of theses programs and know which is better for my goal.

Let $f$ be an arithmetic function and A={k1,k2,...,kn} are integers in increasing order.

Now I want to start with k1 and compare f(ki) with f(k1). If f(ki)>f(k1), put ki as k1.

Now start with ki, and compare f(kj) with f(ki), for j>i. If f(kj)>f(ki), put kj as ki, and repeat this procedure.

At the end we will have a sub sequence B={L1,...,Lm} of A by this property: f(L(i+1))>f(L(i)), for any 1<=i<=m-1

I have written a code for this program with Mathematica, and it take some hours to compute f of ki's or the set B for large numbers.

For example, let f is the divisor function of integers. Do you know how to write the code for my purpose in Mathematica or Matlab. Mathematica is preferable.

  • 1
    what sort of calculations do you want to make? Matlab is probably as good as C++ for just integer arithmetic, especially if you're already familiar with it.
    – TZHX
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 9:08
  • 1
    Are you interested in exploring the mathematics (e.g. number theory), or reimplementing computational number theory algorithms in a mainstream programming language? These goals are somewhat different.
    – rwong
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 11:43
  • my question is similar to this one: stackoverflow.com/questions/4830953/…
    – asd
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 23:56
  • I don't see any actual question here - which explains why the answers are all over the map.
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 2:00

5 Answers 5


Every task is different.

I'd say, pick a flawed micro-benchmark which comes closest to your requirements, e.g. http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/, and draw your conclusions.


Bearing in mind "large numbers" (hence presumably bigger than 2^32), which means that it's "C or C++ or C# and a decent library". Some languages ship with support for large numbers (Smalltalk, Haskell, Common Lisp) and some don't.


You'd better use a language with a decent support for large numbers - e.g., Scheme, or a specialised language like Mathematica or Maxima. With C++ your choice is pretty much limited to libgmp.

  • Not even close to true -- there are about as many large integer math libraries for C++ as there are languages that support large integers as part of the language (e.g., NTL, MIRACL, LIP, ...) Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 14:32
  • @Jerry Coffin, most of that libraries are (IMHO, IMHO) inferior to GMP, so there is only one choice left, and it is not nearly close to ideal as well.
    – SK-logic
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 14:35
  • disliking something is no excuse for denying its existence. Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 14:39

C and C++ don't natively support very large numbers; you'd have to use a third-party bignum library (can't speak to C#).

Frankly, C and C++ aren't the best tools for number-crunching work.


If you are trying to do very high precision arithmetic (not quite the correct terminology, since this is integer rather than floating point), 99.9% of the CPU time will be spent in the library functions for said arithmetic, and it won't matter if the user layer is an intrepreter or a fast compiled language. What matters is finding a good "big integer" library, with a decent interface to a language you like.

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