# Factorial with serial communication

I need help with the code for a factorial that calculates the factorial of a number selected in the serial port. I've got the code to work once however it only works once then goes off to display number like -36... ect. What's the cause of this, and possible solutions, or where to look?

What's the cause of this

You're joking, right?

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Sorry I'm new here and wasn't sure what the go was, I probably should have added the code first off, however i figured out the problem was not returning the value of the unsigned long. Needed that push, apologies for a bad post.

Let me guess, it was just fine until (8!) right?

I hope you are not using a recursive algorithm. Bad juju with limited stack space.

Look at Sterling's Approximation when you overflow. You can see one implementation here

aarg: Let me guess, it was just fine until (8!) right?

No I have it working up until 13!

That's impressive - 13! requires more than 32 bits to represent. (try "usigned long long")

I hope you are not using a recursive algorithm. Bad juju with limited stack space.

Meh. A simple and bounded problem without much local data at each step. You'll probably exceed the range of a floating point number before you overflow the stack, even in an ATmega328. (about 34! ?) (and of course that's LONG after you overflow a 32bit integer.)