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BVC #17: The Luhn Algorithm [VIDEO]

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Today’s video is about the Luhn Algorithm, a simple mathematical algorithm that you can use to verify the correctness of ID numbers that conform to it. Credit cards are the most common example and that’s what I talk about today.

Sorry about the shadow, I started using some new lights and I’ll have to work on the shadows in the future. But there’s more light right? :)

You can read more about the Luhn Algorithm at Wikipedia and here is the aforementioned 50 Fun Facts about Credit Cards post.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “BVC #17: The Luhn Algorithm [VIDEO]”

  1. David Duran says:

    Ohh no! You’ve brought the whiteboard all the way to Europe!

    j/k… It’s pretty awesome that you’re able to keep the house in order while also making the rounds…

  2. Green_Panda says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with a white board. :) Great explanation of Luhn’s algorithm.

  3. Doug Holbrook says:

    Are those new light LEDs so you can pack them with your rollup soft white board? maybe you can get tips on lighting from U2 tonight.

  4. neerpatel says:

    Jim, use 2 lights above the camera angled downwards with some sort of diffuser (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/96060-REG/Visatec_53_303_00_12_Diffusion_Filter_Set.html) or something to soften the light. And you wont have any shadows on the video!

  5. eric says:

    Cool topic! (in a totally non-nerdy way :) )

  6. BJ says:

    I may have missed something in your video, but I couldn’t get it to work on two of my credit cards. I checked out the Wikipedia info and thought I detected a slight variation from the approach you took. In your video, you multiply 5 times 2 and get “10,” which you went on to use in your check sum. I got the impression from Wikipedia that the 10 would be summed as 1+0 = 1 for check sum purposes. In every case where I multiplied a digit times 2 and it resulted in a 2-digit number, I used the sum of those two digits. Doing so gave me a check sum divisible by 10 for both credit cards.

    I’ve never even heard of this before, so I assume I’ve made a naive error. What is the answer? Thanks.

  7. FlyFisher says:

    Blows my mind! Who would have known something so seemingly random actually has an order…

  8. Mark says:

    Yes, BJ, you are right! Actually the calculation shown in this video is wrong. You should sum it up as 1+0+others(not 10+others), which makes the number in the white board not valid (41, not divisible by 10).


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