Algebra Tutorials!
Sunday 18th of March
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 Depdendent Variable

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 Dependent Variable

 Number of inequalities to solve: 23456789
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# Literal Numbers

The “Point” of Algebra

There are a number of important advantages to developing skill in working with literal symbols to represent numbers. Among them are

(i) We can write numerical relationships very concisely. Thus, the formula

for the area of a circle is shorthand for the recipe: “to calculate the area of a circle, raise its radius value to the second power and then multiply the result by the constant 3.141592653589793 or so.” The algebraic formula makes it much easier to see the precise nature of the relationship between A and r here.

(ii) We are able to simulate arithmetic operations involving numbers whose values we don’t know at present. This makes it possible to analyze and solve all sorts of problems involving numerical values that would be impossible to solve by any other means. The rules for carrying out this arithmetic with symbols are based directly on the rules for doing arithmetic with ordinary numbers, because, after all, the symbols just represent ordinary numbers. Most of “algebra” is just learning or practicing strategies for doing this sort of symbolic arithmetic.

The development of science and technology, and most ongoing research and development work today would not be possible without an ability to represent numerical values symbolically. Skill in working with such symbolic representations is absolutely indispensable for working in nearly every technological field today.