The term number can be defined in many ways, including a sizable collection of people or things, and even an indefinite quantity or collection. In mathematics, a number, or numeral, is usually defined as a symbolic representation of a specific quantity or place in a sequence; to most people, the most familiar numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on.

Computers have become such an everyday part of our lives that we hardly think about them. Yet the mathematical concepts that lie behind their operations are staggering.