Number Visualization

In order to get a good sense of numbers and their relative significance, it is helpful to be able to visualize them. This is described by the mathematician John Allen Paulos in his book Innumeracy. Here are some examples:



  • The number of words in a good sized novel.


ONE MILLION – 1,000,000

  • The number of letters in two good sized novels, or the total number of characters (including spaces) in about 600 pages of a bulk paperback novel. This assumes that the average word in English used in a novel is about 5 letters.
  • The number of grains of sugar in 1/4th of a cup
  • A million US dollar bills will weigh approximately 1 ton

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