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August 17th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #1
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Forgotten math term

Hi all,

What's it called when you swap numbers around in a sum to get an alternative such as:

1 + 1 = 2

and then you carry the one over:

1 = 2 - 1

I just can't remember the mathematical term/process for this!

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August 17th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #2
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Re: Forgotten math term

a + b = c
a = c - b
is called "subtraction". Other, less good, terms might include 'transposition' or 'canceling'.
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August 17th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Forgotten math term

Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
Other, less good, terms might include 'transposition' ....
I'd disagree slightly with the "less good" part. It had long been my practice to teach first the reason, as "do the same to both sides", but when the dust had settled, I also taught then transposition, and in fact slipped quickly into it. Transposition is the result of the first steps approach, but those first steps should not be held to dogmatically. Transposition allows one to read more readily through a complex development not unnecessarily cluttered. Transposition is then perhaps a little more difficult at the start, but is a must for future development. It allows one to step back and take a look, and reading through the development of, say, the theory of relativity is then less arduous than otherwise. With practice, one learns to read music notation with ease, seeing flow vertically and horizontally simultaneously. With practice, one "moves" quantities around quite readily from one stage to another. It's simply the next stage of the development, and better, not less good, I think, and still based upon sound principles.
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