I love learning new things!  Some of the new things are new, and some are things I am learning now that I should have learned while at school.  I was too young to realize what fantastic learning opportunities I had.

I hated math, but not anymore.  Now I want to learn everything about math, and then some.

Today I learned the Order of Operations. That is the order in which you perform mathematical functions.  It makes sense to perform functions from left to right the way you read, but not according to the Order of Operations.

The answer to above is 32 and not 92.  What is in the parentheses takes priority, and then multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.

I thought that the Order of Operations was decided by some mathematical committee, but the order evolved over a time.  Oops!  Instead of committee I should have used task force.  (Have you noticed how task force has replaced the word committee?)

I imagined that the Mathematical Task Force on the Order of Operations met somewhere, at taxpayers’ expense, to decide which functions should be done first.  To go first and second, Multiplication and Division bribed the task force members.  Poor Addition and Subtraction were honest and paid no bribes.  Their reward for being honest?  They get to go second last and last.  Unknown to Multiplication and Division, Parentheses paid an even bigger bribe so that whatever is inside them is given priority.

I will explore the Order of Operations further to see why the order evolved the way it did.  And even if I don’t find out why, it does not matter.  What fun learning is along the way!


About Gary Johnston

I am an imaginary number -- a symbol used to count and measure. As Senior Imaginary Number at Einstein Equations Incorporated, I facilitate the calculation of the impossible.

Posted on November 25, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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