Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Maths Symbol in Our Applications

There are many symbols in maths.
To learn and understand maths, we need to know the meaning of the symbols.

This is very much like talking to a foreigner. Without understanding each other's language, no communication can be carried out (other than the international body language!)

Hence, knowing the usage of the symbols in a mathematical expression helps.

But is it really so?


Why do I say that?

Yes, you may know the symbol while doing maths, but if the same symbol is used elsewhere, do you still understand?

One example is:

y = x + 1
This means x is added by one and their total is represented by the variable "y".
This is for the maths operator "+".

But what about the expression x++ ?
This looks odd, isn't it?

To the maths learner, this may be a typo error, or something is missing.

"x++" is actually commonly used in C programming.

What it means is   x = x + 1.
It is a short-cut way of writing the addition of x and replacing it by the same variable "x".

Thus this example showed the use of "+" in another application.

It is still maths in some sense, but written in another form.

Maths is therefore always around us. It is a matter of us applying them and understanding them.

Only by learning their "language", can we communicate with them.

Interesting?  I bet you agree!

Other applications can be " += ", " :-) " and " x>>4 ". 
Can you find their meaning?



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