# Starklings3 Operations: Felt operations

We’re back with another installment of Starklings Side Quest. If you haven’t seen our other articles, you can start with these: Variables in Cairo and Primitive Types in Cairo, this time we look at *Felt Operations*. Felt, short for “field element,” is a fundamental type in the Cairo programming language, primarily used in zero-knowledge proof systems. Understanding felt operations is crucial for anyone working with Cairo, as it allows you to perform efficient arithmetic within the constraints of a finite field.

A field element `(felt)`

is a native type in Cairo. You can think of it as a special kind of integer that behaves differently in certain arithmetic operations due to its properties within a finite field. This makes felts extremely useful for cryptographic computations, where operations need to be both efficient and secure. Learn more about it in the Cairo book.

Cairo1 also provides native integer types that support a wider range of operators compared to felts, such as `%`

(modulus) and `/`

(division). These integer types offer more flexibility for general arithmetic operations, but they lack some of the specialized behaviors of felts. You can explore more about these integer types and their capabilities here.

`operations1.cairo`

`// Integer types implement basic comparison and arithmetic operators.`

// Felt252 operations should be avoided where possible, as they could have unwanted behavior.

// I AM NOT DONE

// TODO

// Return the solution of x^3 + y - 2

fn poly(x: usize, y: usize) -> usize {

// FILL ME

res // Do not change

}

// Do not change the test function

#[test]

fn test_poly() {

let res = poly(5, 3);

assert(res == 126, 'Error message');

assert(res < 300, 'res < 300');

assert(res <= 300, 'res <= 300');

assert(res > 20, 'res > 20');

assert(res >= 2, 'res >= 2');

assert(res != 27, 'res != 27');

assert(res % 2 == 0, 'res %2 != 0');

}

First, we are being told here that we should avoid `Felt252`

operations where possible, because it could have unwanted behavior. Our task given is to return the solution of `x^3 + y -2`

, we're also told not to modify the test functions.

Alright, let’s take a quick look at the errors for completeness.

`operations1.cairo`

Errors

`🟡 Testing exercises/operations/operations1.cairo exercise...`

Compiling test(exercise_crate_unittest) exercise_crate v0.1.0 (/Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/Scarb.toml)

error: Identifier not found.

--> /Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/src/lib.cairo:11:5

res // Do not change

^*^

Not much to see here, our test is failing.

`operations1.cairo`

Solution

Our task is to make these tests pass, but as we know, it’s a little tricky to work with some operations in Cairo. Let’s take a look at what we have in `fn poly`

.

We see that we have two parameters in `poly(x:, y`

), and our problem with `x^3`

is really `x * x * x`

, so why don’t we calculate that separately and see what happens?

If we add a variable `x_cubed`

to calculate that, then use it on the next line with the `res`

variable, we can get our code to compile:

`fn poly(x: usize, y: usize) -> usize {`

let x_cubed = x * x * x;

let res = x_cubed + y - 2;

res // Do not change

}

# Explanation

**Integer Types and Arithmetic Operations:**

• The task specifies using`usize`

integers for our calculations. Cairo has native integer types that support basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication.**Avoiding****Felt252****Operations:**

•`Felt252`

operations can have unexpected behavior, so we’re instructed to use integer types where possible. This helps avoid potential pitfalls in arithmetic operations within the Cairo environment.**Calculating Powers:**

• Since Cairo does not support direct exponentiation for integers like`x^3`

, we manually calculate the cube by multiplying x three times:`x * x * x`

.**Variable Initialization:**

• We introduce a new variable`x_cubed`

to store the result of`x * x * x`

. This makes the code cleaner and easier to understand.

• Then we calculate res by adding`x_cubed`

to`y`

and subtracting`2`

, which is the required expression.**Test Function:**

• The provided test function checks multiple conditions to ensure our implementation is correct. It verifies the result against various assertions, ensuring the value of res meets all specified criteria.

Let’s move on to the next exercise.

`operations2.cairo`

`// Remember last time you calculated division in Cairo0?`

// Now Cairo1 has native integer types e.g. u8, u32, ...u256, usize which support more operators than felts

// And always watch out for overflows e.g in the last test

// Lets try to use them

// I AM NOT DONE

fn modulus(x: u8, y: u8) -> u8 {

// calculate the modulus of x and y

// FILL ME

res

}

fn floor_division(x: usize, y: usize) -> usize {

// calculate the floor_division of x and y

// FILL ME

res

}

fn multiplication(x: u64, y: u64) -> u64 {

// calculate the multiplication of x and y

// FILL ME

res

}

// Do not change the tests

#[test]

fn test_modulus() {

let res = modulus(16, 2);

assert(res == 0, 'Error message');

let res = modulus(17, 3);

assert(res == 2, 'Error message');

}

#[test]

fn test_floor_division() {

let res = floor_division(160, 2);

assert(res == 80, 'Error message');

let res = floor_division(21, 4);

assert(res == 5, 'Error message');

}

#[test]

fn test_mul() {

let res = multiplication(16, 2);

assert(res == 32, 'Error message');

let res = multiplication(21, 4);

assert(res == 84, 'Error message');

}

#[test]

#[should_panic]

fn test_u64_mul_overflow_1() {

let _res = multiplication(0x100000000, 0x100000000);

}

Our instructions are to use `%`

, `/`

, and `*`

to complete our functions and make our code compile. We clearly have bits of code missing, and understand that this is the main reason our code is not compiling. But let's quickly look at the compiler errors to see what they say.

`operations2.cairo`

Errors

`🟡 Testing exercises/operations/operations2.cairo exercise...`

Compiling test(exercise_crate_unittest) exercise_crate v0.1.0 (/Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/Scarb.toml)

error: Identifier not found.

--> /Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/src/lib.cairo:11:5

res

^*^

error: Identifier not found.

--> /Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/src/lib.cairo:17:5

res

^*^

error: Identifier not found.

--> /Users/desmo/repos/starklings-cairo1/runner-crate/src/lib.cairo:23:5

res

^*^

The errors indicate that the `res`

variable is not defined in the functions, which is obvious as we have to define them. So let's get to it!

`operations2.cairo`

Solution

To solve these errors, we need to implement the required operations for modulus, floor division, and multiplication:

`fn modulus(x: u8, y: u8) -> u8 {`

// calculate the modulus of x and y

let res = x % y;

res

}

fn floor_division(x: usize, y: usize) -> usize {

// calculate the floor_division of x and y

let res = x / y;

res

}

fn multiplication(x: u64, y: u64) -> u64 {

// calculate the multiplication of x and y

let res = x * y;

res

}

# Explanation

**Modulus Operation:**

• The modulus operation returns the remainder when one number is divided by another.

• l`et res = x % y;`

computes the remainder of x divided by y.**Floor Division:**

• Floor division returns the greatest integer less than or equal to the result of the division.

•`let res = x / y;`

performs integer division, which is the same as floor division for positive integers.**Multiplication:**

• This function multiplies two`u64`

integers.

•`let res = x * y;`

performs the multiplication of`x`

and`y`

.**Handling Overflows:**

• The test`test_u64_mul_overflow_1`

is designed to check for overflow. The`#[should_panic]`

attribute indicates that this test expects a panic due to overflow, ensuring that the multiplication is handled correctly within the bounds of`u64`

.

# Conclusion

In this blog post, we quickly explored the intricacies of Felt operations in Cairo, going into the fundamental concepts and practical applications of field elements. We learned that Felt, short for “field element,” is a crucial type in the Cairo programming language, particularly useful in cryptographic computations due to its properties within finite fields.

We discussed how Cairo1 introduces native integer types that support a broader range of arithmetic operations compared to felts, such as modulus and division. This flexibility allows developers to perform more complex arithmetic operations efficiently while maintaining the security and integrity of their computations.

Through practical examples, we demonstrated how to implement basic arithmetic operations with felts and how to handle more advanced operations using native integer types. These examples highlighted the differences and advantages of using felts versus native integers in various scenarios.

By mastering Felt operations and leveraging the power of Cairo’s native integer types, you can develop robust and secure applications that harness the full potential of zero-knowledge proofs. See you next time!