Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Maths Symbol in Our Applications

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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?

Partially.

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?

:D

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