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You will be expected to use computer notation to answer some questions on this site, as you need to be very familiar with this notation when taking Massey Mathematics papers.  For each operation shown below we give the mathematical notation used in schools and most text books and typical computer notation used in many software packages.

 Operation Mathematical Notation Computer Notation Mathematical Notation Examples Computer Notation Examples Addition +  + 3 + 2 a + b 3+2 a+b Subtraction -  - 3 - 2 a - b 3-2 a-b Multiplication × or ( )( ) * 3 × 2 or (3)(2) a × b or (a)(b) or ab 3*2 a*b Division ÷ or  / 3 ÷ 2  or a ÷ b  or 3/2 a/b Powers  ^ 32 ax 3^2 a^x Exponential function exp( ) e2, e ex exp(2), exp(1) exp(x) Logarithm (base 10) log log( ) see below log 2 log x log(2) log(x) Natural logarithm ln ln( ) see below ln 2 ln x ln(2) ln(x) Square root (positive) sqrt( ) or ^0.5  sqrt(32) or 32^0.5 sqrt(x) or x^0.5 Reciprocal 1/ or ^(-1)  1/ 32 or 32^(-1) 1/x or x^(-1) Sine sin sin( ) sin p sin x sin(pi) sin(x) Cosine cos cos( ) cos p cos x cos(pi) cos(x) Tangent tan tan( ) tan p tan x tan(pi) tan(x)

When you have complex expressions, you may need to use brackets to obtain the desired order of operations.  While textbooks may use round, square and curly brackets in an expression, in computer expressions we use only curved brackets, for example, ( expression ).

Examples of expressions in computer notation using brackets:

5^x+2 represents 5x + 2 whereas 5^(x+2) represents 5x + 2.
(x + 1)/(x + 2) represents whereas x + 1/x + 2 represents x + + 2.
To enter , use exp(a*exp(b)). is entered as y^(x^2).

### Logarithms

Computer notation for logarithms varies from programme to programme. Matlab uses log10( ) for logarithms to base 10 and log( ) for natural logarithms whereas Excel uses both log( ) and log10( ) for logarithms to base 10 and ln( ) for natural logarithms.

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