# C# Math.Max and Math.Min Examples

Use the Math.Max and Math.Min methods to get the higher or lower of 2 elements.**Math.Max, Min.** Math.Max returns the larger value. It can improve code that calculates integer bounds. Min() does the same thing, but returns the lower value.

**Often in algorithms** we need to test if an integer is less than zero. We use Math.Max to test for these conditions with less code.

Math

**First example.** We use the Math.Max method to check bounds. You can replace many if-statements with one line of code using Math.Max.

If**And:** We take the maximum of zero and the value. The result will never be less than zero.

**GetLastIndex:** This method internally uses the Math.Max function. It returns one index from the last index.

Return**Thus:** If you pass in a number that is way too high, it won't cause an error in the calling code. It is safe and reliable.

**C# program that uses Math**
using System;
class Program
{
static int[] _array = new int[]
{
1,
2,
5,
6,
7
};
static void Main()
{*
// Get 1 place from end.
*int i = GetLastIndex(1);
Console.WriteLine(i);*
// Get 3 places from end.
*i = GetLastIndex(3);
Console.WriteLine(i);*
// Get 10 places from end. Will not throw exception.
*i = GetLastIndex(10);
Console.WriteLine(i);
}
static int GetLastIndex(int length)
{
int start = _array.Length - length - 1;
start = __Math.Max__(0, start);
return _array[start];
}
}
**Output**
6
2
1

**Example 2.** You can rewrite if-statements to code that uses the Math class. It can make your code more maintainable. Testing bounds with if is bug-prone.

**Important:** Node how we have to remember the "less than" sign, in the first code, but the second program has fewer symbols.

**So:** The code that uses Math.Max may be easier to read, and may be less prone to typos.

**C# program that uses if**
using System;
class Program
{
static void Main()
{*
// Constrain indexes with if-statement.
*int a = 4;
if (a < 0)
{
Console.WriteLine(0);
}
else
{
Console.WriteLine(a);
}
}
}
**C# program that uses Math.Max**
using System;
class Program
{
static void Main()
{*
// Constrain indexes with Math.Max.
*int a = 4;
Console.WriteLine(__Math.Max__(0, a));
}
}

**Math.Min example.** The Math.Min method returns the minimum of the 2 arguments you send to it. You need to send 2 numbers of the same type (int, uint, double or decimal).

Int, uintDoubleDecimal**Casting:** The C# language has complex rules for implicit casting, so this may occur when using Math.Min or similar Math methods.

**Info:** In both uses of Math.Min, the smaller of the two values (the identifiers value1, and value3) are returned.

**Also:** You cannot use null as a parameter or any reference type. The number zero can be used with Math.Min.

**C# program that uses Math.Min**
using System;
class Program
{
static void Main()
{*
//
// Use Math.Min on positive integers.
//
*int value1 = 4;
int value2 = 8;
int minimum1 = __Math.Min__(value1, value2);
Console.WriteLine(minimum1);*
//
// Use Math.Min on negative and positive integers.
//
*int value3 = -1000;
int value4 = 100;
int minimum2 = __Math.Min__(value3, value4);
Console.WriteLine(minimum2);
}
}
**Output**
4
-1000

**Math.Min.** Next we rewrite an if-condition expression to use the method Math.Min on integral types. This example caps values at a certain number using Math.Min.

**Caution:** Sometimes the Math.Max and Math.Min methods can be confused. Be careful to test after rewriting code to use them.

**C# program that uses if**
using System;
class Program
{
static void Main()
{*
// Make sure it isn't > 10.
*int b = 15;
if (b > 10)
{
b = 10;
}
Console.WriteLine(b);
}
}
**C# program that uses Math.Min**
using System;
class Program
{
static void Main()
{*
// Make sure it isn't > 10.
*int b = 15;
Console.WriteLine(__Math.Min__(10, b));
}
}

**Implementation, Min.** There is no magic in the implementation of these methods. We examine the implementation of Math.Min in the base class library.

**Internals:** The Math.Min overload for Int32 returns the result of an if-conditional.

**However:** I found that the Math.Min methods for decimal and float contain additional processing only for those types.

**Internal implementation of Min: C#**
[ReliabilityContract(Consistency.WillNotCorruptState, Cer.Success)]
public static int __Min__(int val1, int val2)
{
if (val1 > val2)
{
return val2;
}
return val1;
}

**A discussion.** You will need to test again zero many times. Using a negative number on an indexer will throw an exception (an IndexOutOfRangeException).

IndexOutOfRangeException**Performance:** I have benchmarked Math.Min and Math.Max and they are no different from typing the logic yourself.

**And:** The only difference is that your code is shorter, simpler to read, and less prone to typos.

**Max extension.** There are Max and Min extension methods in the System.Linq namespace. These are called on IEnumerable collections, and are different from Math.Max and Math.Min.

Max, Min

**A summary.** We clarified bounds-checking with Math.Min and Math.Max. These methods transform imperative code to declarative code—they improve important algorithms.

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