Some Mathematical Symbols
There are three commonly used means of indicating multiplication
- The symbol "x", e.g., 5 x 6 = 30. Note that this symbol is generally avoided in algebraic equations because of the common use of "x" to indicate an unknown quantity.
- The symbol "*", e.g., 5 * 8 = 40. The use of the asterisk to indicate multiplication is commonly used in spreadsheets (e.g., Excel) and in algerbraic expressions.
- Or simply a number next to a parenthetic expression, e.g., 5(6+2) = 40
There are three commonly used ways to indicate division.
- "/", e.g., 40/5 = 8
- "÷", e.g., 30 ÷ 5 = 6
- Division can also be indicated by placing one quantity (the numerator) over another quantity (the denominator) as shown below.
44/123 = 0.3577
Equals (=) & Doesn't Equal (≠)
2+3 = 5
2+3 ≠ 4
(Read as "doesn't equal" or "is not equal to."
Less than (<) and greater than (>)
- The symbol < means less than. For example,
7 < 8
200 < 300
- The symbol > means greater than. For example,
6 > 4
3000 > 2750
- The symbol ≤ means less than or equal to.
- The symbol ≥ means greater than or equal to.
- The symbol ≈ means approximately equal to.
The Order of Math Operations
When you are given a mathematical expression or an equation, the order in which mathematical operations are performed is very important. The rules for this are quite simple. Consider the following example:
2 + (7+3) * 32 + 4* (3-1) + 10
At first this may look daunting, but it is really quite simple. The rules are: summarized in the table below.
Order of Operations
So, for the example above your would:
- Solve within parentheses
- Compute exponents
- Perform multiplication and division
- Perform addition and subtraction
And the correct answer is 110.