Minimum and Maximum Calculator

By Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate
Last updated: Dec 04, 2020

Welcome to Omni's minimum and maximum calculator, where we'll work towards finding the smallest and largest number in your dataset of up to fifty entries. Note that this tool does not compute a function's extrema (i.e., the minimal or maximal values that a function gives locally), so if that's what brought you here, we're afraid that's not what you'll see here.

Our max and min calculator is a fairly straightforward tool, so without further ado, let's jump straight into the article and see how to find the minimum and maximum in a sequence of numbers.

How to find the minimum and maximum

Whenever we have a dataset and would like to get to know it, one of the first things we find are the minimum and maximum (often denoted min and max), i.e., the smallest and largest values, respectively. They are the two numbers that give the limits of what we have at hand. From then on, we can go to further statistical analysis. For instance, we can then compute the quartiles and the median, which all together make up the five-number summary of the dataset.

However, for now, let's focus on the two values that we came here for. When we learn how to find the minimum and maximum, the first step is to order the numbers from least to greatest. Arguably, we can't escape from comparing the entries to one another. In order to simplify the process and make it more efficient, we can use some sorting algorithms (one of which we mention in the dedicated calculator).

All in all, as a result, from a wild dataset, we'll obtain a sequence of numbers x₁, x₂, x₃,..., xₙ ordered from smallest to largest. So what is the minimum then? And what is the maximum? Well, it's simple enough:

minimum = x₁,

maximum = xₙ.

Arguably, it's not rocket science, and there's not much theory involved here. Therefore, why don't we jump straight to an example? Let's see our max and min calculator in action and describe how to find the minimum and maximum in practice.

Example: using the minimum and maximum calculator

Say that you've taken up cycling recently and decided to use an app to see the distances you managed to make. With every trip you make, you feel the activity feels less and less tiring, and the calories burned reveal firmer muscles in your thighs.

But, apart from the visual effects, you decide to take a look at the numbers. In particular, you'd like to see how well you did on your worst and your best day, i.e., when you made the shortest and the longest distance, respectively. Well, correct us if we're wrong, but this looks like a task for our minimum and maximum calculator! (Spoiler alert: there's no need to correct us; we happen to be right.)

You look into the data gathered by the app and see the last twenty distances you covered. They are:

4.5 mi, 5.2 mi, 3.9 mi, 6.1 mi, 7.5 mi, 4.2 mi, 6.3 mi, 6.3 mi, 5.9 mi, 8.9 mi, 9.2 mi, 11.2 mi, 6.4 mi, 7 mi, 7.2 mi, 5.9 mi, 11.4 mi, 4.8 mi, 9.8 mi, 10.5 mi.

(For our metric friends out there, we recommend the length converter to have the values in the unit of your choice.)

In the minimum and maximum calculator, we see numbered variable fields where we input our data. One by one, we enter the values we got. Observe how initially, the tool shows only eight such fields, but new ones appear the moment you seem to reach the end (in fact, you can input up to fifty numbers). Also, note that the minimum and maximum calculator shows a result already for two numbers and adjusts it with every new entry. Once we enter the last one, we can simply read off the answer.

However, for the times of dire need when there's no Wi-Fi around, let's see how to find the minimum and maximum without the help of Omni's max and min calculator.

First of all, as was mentioned in the previous section, we need to order our dataset from least to greatest. Observe how, when using the max and min calculator, the tool already does that for us and even shows us the ordered least underneath.

In our case, sorting the numbers will change the raw sequence:

4.5 mi, 5.2 mi, 3.9 mi, 6.1 mi, 7.5 mi, 4.2 mi, 6.3 mi, 6.3 mi, 5.9 mi, 8.9 mi, 9.2 mi, 11.2 mi, 6.4 mi, 7 mi, 7.2 mi, 5.9 mi, 11.4 mi, 4.8 mi, 9.8 mi, 10.5 mi,

into:

3.9 mi, 4.2 mi, 4.5 mi, 4.8 mi, 5.2 mi, 5.9 mi, 5.9 mi, 6.1 mi, 6.3 mi, 6.3 mi, 6.4 mi, 7 mi, 7.2 mi, 7.5 mi, 8.9 mi, 9.2 mi, 9.8 mi, 10.5 mi, 11.2 mi, 11.4 mi.

So what is the minimum? It's the first number above. And what is the maximum? It's the last one. In other words,

minimum = 3.9 mi,

maximum = 11.4 mi.

That's quite a difference, don't you think? Or should we call it progress? Either way, it sure sounds encouraging, especially since they say that regular exercise can extend your life!

And if you'd like to analyze your data further, make sure to check out other Omni tools that can help you out!

Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate
Note: This calculator computes the minimum and maximum of a dataset, and not a function's extrema.
Values (enter up to 50 numbers)
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