My Math Forum What do I need to learn most?

 Elementary Math Fractions, Percentages, Word Problems, Equations, Inequations, Factorization, Expansion

 July 20th, 2014, 12:52 PM #1 Member   Joined: Jun 2014 From: switzerland Posts: 57 Thanks: 2 What do I need to learn most? I've learnt fractions and have just begun with decimals and to be honest, it seems as if this decimal business isn't worth learning ... what should I make a priority? Is this decimal stuff actually worth learning? And yes, I plan to learn all those subjects this summer. Last edited by skipjack; July 20th, 2014 at 10:52 PM.
 July 20th, 2014, 01:17 PM #2 Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: norwich Posts: 84 Thanks: 9 exponents covers square roots That would become clear if you began with exponents. I expect this will seem weird, but nevertheless I'll write it anyway: square root of x = x to the power 1/2 Start from the beginning and you'll understand. If one wants to raise 4 to some power - then the power is a number also known as an exponent. So using the exponent 2 means "4 to the power 2" which means a product of two 4's i.e 4 * 4 (or even "4 squared"). Now, let's say we have two numbers number 1: "3 to the power 2" = 3 * 3 = 9 number 2: "3 to the power 3" = 3 * 3 * 3 = 27 What does one get if one multiplies number 1 by number 2? (3 * 3) * (3 * 3 * 3) Can you see? It's "3 to the power 5", because it's a product of five 3's. (which happens to be 243). The exponent of 3 in number 1 was 2, and in number 2 it was 3 and because we only have 3's in the product of number 1 and number 2, the exponents just add up : 2 + 3 = 5 That's a start. Sorry if it's overwhelming. Last edited by skipjack; July 20th, 2014 at 10:56 PM. Reason: mispelling
 July 21st, 2014, 01:11 AM #3 Senior Member     Joined: Oct 2013 From: Far far away Posts: 429 Thanks: 18 Hi fruitymaths If you've learnt fractions, then you've learnt decimals too. A decimal is just a different notation for fractions. As you may already know 1/2 = 0.5 and 2/3 = 0.666... The last example will show you that the decimal notation is not exactly perfect. A simple fraction such as 2/3, has an infinite number of digits in decimal notation. If you don't learn decimals, you'll be missing out on a whole set of numbers called the irrationals. Numbers such as pi and e have no fractional notation. Thanks from fruitymaths
July 21st, 2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by William Labbett exponents covers square roots That would become clear if you began with exponents. I expect this will seem weird, but nevertheless I'll write it anyway: square root of x = x to the power 1/2 Start from the beginning and you'll understand. If one wants to raise 4 to some power - then the power is a number also known as an exponent. So using the exponent 2 means "4 to the power 2" which means a product of two 4's i.e 4 * 4 (or even "4 squared"). Now, let's say we have two numbers number 1: "3 to the power 2" = 3 * 3 = 9 number 2: "3 to the power 3" = 3 * 3 * 3 = 27 What does one get if one multiplies number 1 by number 2? (3 * 3) * (3 * 3 * 3) Can you see? It's "3 to the power 5", because it's a product of five 3's. (which happens to be 243). The exponent of 3 in number 1 was 2, and in number 2 it was 3 and because we only have 3's in the product of number 1 and number 2, the exponents just add up : 2 + 3 = 5 That's a start. Sorry if it's overwhelming.
uhhhhhhhh

 July 21st, 2014, 01:34 PM #5 Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: norwich Posts: 84 Thanks: 9 Like I said Fruity :- sorry if it was overwhelming. Let me ask you something : If 2 to the power of some exponent is 16 what is the exponent?
July 21st, 2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by William Labbett Like I said Fruity :- sorry if it was overwhelming. Let me ask you something : If 2 to the power of some exponent is 16 what is the exponent?
I haven't done that yet. My knowledge is solely based on fractions

I don't even know what exponent means.

Last edited by skipjack; July 21st, 2014 at 09:53 PM.

 July 22nd, 2014, 12:50 AM #7 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,924 Thanks: 2203 Let's start with counting... 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Now count backwards: 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, and now you're stuck... unless... you do this: 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, -1, -2, -3, etc. If these were temperatures, -2 would mean "two below zero". For our purposes, -2 is read as "minus 2" (or sometimes "negative 2"). The numbers above zero are termed positive and those below zero are termed negative. All the numbers I've mentioned so far are called integers (or whole numbers). The positive integers are called natural numbers. If you understood that (or more or less knew it already), explain what counting is (not by giving an example, but by inventing a definition). Is your definition consistent with how you count? Are you sure?
 July 22nd, 2014, 01:35 AM #8 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,157 Thanks: 731 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions I'd do them in this order: 1. Fractions 2. Decimals 3. Percentages 4. Integers 5. Inequalities (using integers) 6. Exponents 7. Square roots The only reason for this order is that some of the later topics will be easier if you do the earlier topics. I would never expect someone to do percentages without having already done fractions and decimals. All of these topics are critically important for learning maths as they are fundamental concepts. Work as hard as you can and do your best! Thanks from fruitymaths
 July 22nd, 2014, 01:59 AM #9 Newbie     Joined: Jul 2014 From: Toowoomba Posts: 1 Thanks: 1 Yeah, I think you should - it won't take long and you would be better off. Thanks from fruitymaths Last edited by skipjack; July 22nd, 2014 at 06:36 AM.
 July 22nd, 2014, 02:41 AM #10 Senior Member     Joined: Nov 2010 From: Indonesia Posts: 2,001 Thanks: 132 Math Focus: Trigonometry Let's see here: As William Labbett said above, Exponents covers Square Roots. Fractions covers Decimals, and Percents is also included in. That leaves Integers and Inequalities. My suggestion is that you learn Integers first, then Fractions along with Decimals and Percents. Next, you learn Exponents together with Square Roots. And then, you learn Inequalitias.

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