Monday, 18 August 2008

Indices & Logarithm - Less Mistakes with Proper Writing

Every symbols in mathematics serve certain purpose. The size of the symbols and numbers also represent unique meaning.

Many mistakes and confusions were made due to improper writing of the above two items that are very much key to mathematics.

Two of the topics that are commonly populated with writing errors are Indices and Logarithm.

Indices: ax = Y

Logarithm: lognA = K

From the above two examples, it is apparent that writing is crucial to give correct meaning to mathematics.

Writing therefore is an important skill while doing these two maths topics.

Discipline is needed here to maintain consistency.

What do I mean?

Let me give an example.

log2 xy = log2x + log2y

The above is a correct expression written with proper size and positioning.

If writing discipline is not maintained, it may end up as:
log2 xy = log2x + log2y (size and position error)

Do you notice the change in meaning when size changes?

The subscript "2" representing "base 2" is conveyed as "2 times y"!

This is the result of a simple "slip" of the hand in writing the size of the "2".

Can this mistake be allowed?

I guess NO!

Why run the risk of marks being deducted or effort wasted in getting wrong answers?

Write properly is the only answer to less mistakes, if not at all.

If ax = Y is written as ax = Y, how do we expect to get correct answers?

Here, you realise that maths learning is not just about mathematical concepts, human discipline and strength of concentration matters also.

Being able to write clearly and presentable is a noble capability that we should be proud to demonstrate to anyone. Strive to be focused and discipline when dealing with maths.

Happy writing! :P


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