how do you find the sum of a sequence in Java

2020-03-26 java sequence

I really don't understand how to find the sum of a sequence in Java. For instance, the program will ask for the input of the first and last number of the sequence and add the sum of the sequence(3 + 4 + 5 = 12). My System.out.println() isn't working as well. Why is this?

import java.util.Scanner;

public class SumOfASequenceTheSequel {

public static void main(String[] args) {
    Scanner scanner = new Scanner(;

    System.out.println("First number?");
    int first = Integer.valueOf(scanner.nextLine());
    System.out.println("Second number?");
    int second = Integer.valueOf(scanner.nextLine());

    int sum = 0;

    int i = first;

    while (i <= second) {
        sum = sum + i;
        i = i++;

    System.out.println("The sum is " + sum);  


i++; is called Post Increment equal to i = i + 1; So you just need i++;, not i = i++;.

As others have pointed out, because you are doing post-increment and assignment in the same statement, (i = i++;), your program is running in an infinite loop.

You might want to change it to either a pre-increment assignment (i = ++i;) or even better a plain pre or post increment (i++;).

Look at this link to understand the difference between pre and post increment operators.

I will recommend a for loop instead of while loop for better readability. See the following snippet:

for(int i = first; i <= second; i++) {
    sum = sum + i;

If you like Stream API instead of traditional loops, you can also print the sum the following way:

System.out.println("The sum is " + IntStream.rangeClosed(first, second).sum());

On a side note, you might want to close the Scanner resource after you are done using it to avoid resource leak, like so: scanner.close();

i = i++; This statement is incorrect. Because you used post incremental. In this statement first assign i's value to i after increment value. but i's value not changes. Then this while loop become infinity loop. So you need remove assignment part and only need i++;. Also you can use pre incremental (++i;). If you use pre incremental, then i = ++i; statement fine. But value assignment is not need.

If you can replace while loop using for loop, then you don't meet this problem. For loop solution below. Below Code sum += i; equals to sum = sum + i

for (int i = first; i <= second; i++) {
            sum += i;