Talk:Algebra

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Simple Algebra?[change source]

Am I the only one concerned about the fact that algebra is not "a part of math (mathematics) where letters (a,b,c,...) or other symbols are used to stand for unknown numbers."? Aside from rudimentary arithmetic, there is no part of mathematics which is not developed with the use of letters and symbols. Algebra is the field of mathematics concerned with the study of sets with operations and/or relations defined on them. Maybe this article should be renamed High School Algebra or something of the sort. 18:52, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Hopefully the changes I've made better fit the definition. BigDaveB (talk) 19:32, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

If mathematics is about the size of things, Algebra is about the logic and a process of developing formulas and equations about the size of things, and comparing them to each other. Thus we say a rectangle has 2 sides A and B, and it's area is the multiple of A times B and can be compared with other areas as to dimensions and magnitude by the rules of geometry. And as the rules of geometry get more complicated, so do the complications of making the comparison. And work with algebraic functions developes the concept of being able to deduce unknown values by the use of equations having known values plus a logic process that leads to the determination of the unknown value, which is a valuable capability of mathematical knowledge when used correctly. But you have to be careful about equations and their ligic in any kind of algebra, or else you can wind up proving things like 1b =2b and thus 1 = 2. WFPMWFPM (talk) 17:30, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

the original poster here was most correct. algebra, as it stands today, is far removed from "developing formulas and equations about the size of things, and comparing them to each other." algebra is the abstractions of analyzing sets over an operation. this leads, on some sets with some operations, the ability to create the rules that govern the development of formulas and equations. but algebra itself gives the underlying ability to do so. i know this is a simple english wikipedia, but this article really deserves to be renamed elementary algebra.

This is about algebra. All algebra. Starting with middle school/junior high, and advancing to vectors and matrices and such. I did a major rewrite, hopefully this makes it more obvious where to add details for the type of algebra you're interested in. It was rather muddled before. (And go ahead, add what you want, or make another article on your subset of algebra - advanced algebra, set theory or whatever - and link to it from here). Nerfer (talk) 05:44, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikibooks?[change source]

Why doesn't this article have a link to wikibooks?

It does now. Excellent idea, thanks! -- George Gesslein II (talk) 10:52, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Division Notation[change source]

Does anyone else have a problem with this or is it just me;

In Algebra, dividing y by z is written as y */* z or y/z. y/z is more commonly used.

--- I think the */* symbol represents the division symbol obelus used in elementary arithmatic. --- It seems too confusing even for unsimple WP. ;-) Hydnjo 17:51, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Not to me. Not being a genius; I don't understand half of the article and the rest besides that, but I think it means that taking the unknown y and "cutting it out in equal pieces" to unknown number Z, is written as Y asterix-slash-asterox Z or just simply Y/Z. It's just that simple; As sayin'100/10, obviously it will be, let's say, 100 cakes for 10 people, a.k.a. dividing it fairly, and it becomes 10 cakes for every 1 people. But I could've had a problem with this. I don't grasphow they can find out the unknown numbers trough letters, STILL, however. I wish I knew. Gasp. --KommunistSympathizer 23:25, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

==Division Notation is a formalized syteem of developing the concept that things can be divided into parts of the same thing. But the knowledge is derived from the consideration of the size notation of things as being made up of a quantity of unit units, which can then be separated. The mathematics doesn't get complicated until you get into ideas of the subdivision of entities that are themselves unit entities and thus involve fractional notation, like distances between 0 and 1 on the number line. Then you get into elaborate theories about things like indeterminate size numbers and prime numbers and the value of Pi which are interesting but dont tell you much about science, except that there are points on the number line whose size cant be accurately determined. WFPMWFPM (talk) 17:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Function Operator[change source]

Parentheses after a single letter tend to indicate a function, as in y(z), not multiplication. If intended to represent multiplication, some sort of symbol should be used in between the two.

I realized that too, but that is fairly advanced level thinking compared to this article. Initially, parentheses are used to represent multiplication. The article does say that the usual form doesn't involve parentheses which I am willing to live with. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 17:47, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Parenthesis after a single letter can at times indicate a function and can at times indicate multiplication (as stated in the article). Context is what is important here, if the context is the least bit unclear then use a convention for multiplication that will avoid any confusion. -- Barrie