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Help in writing math symbols

This guide is intended to help with math expressions and syntax for communicating via email.

Operation   Examples


There are several ways to show multiplication.  To make sure it is clear use the * symbol (shift 8) to show numbers or variables that are multiplied together.    5*x   or  5x or 5(x)
  x*y*z      or  xyz
  2*(x+4)  or  2(x+4)
Fractions Use the / symbol but make sure the complete numerator and denominator are each in closed parentheses.   (3a + b)/(4a)
  (y+2)/(y - 5)


Use the ^ symbol (shift 6) to show the power a something is raised to, if an entire expression is raised to a power make sure to use parentheses.   x^2  means x squared
  (2x + 4)^3 means (2x + 4) raised to
    the 3rd power
Square Root


Use sqrt to represent the square root symbol   .  Make sure everything that goes under the square root symbol is closed in parentheses.   sqrt(4x)
  sqrt((x + 2)/(x - 5))
Other Radicals


Use nroot to represent any root greater than 2, where the n is the root.  Again, make sure everything that goes under the root symbol is closed in parentheses. 5root(x+2)means the 5th root of(x + 2)
3root(xyz)means the 3rd root of xyz
  Another way to write different roots is to change them to a fractional exponent. (4x)^(1/2)is the same as sqrt(4x) or the square root of 4x
(x+2)^(1/5)is the same as 5root(x+2) or the 5th root of (x + 2)
Absolute Value Use the | symbol (shift \) to represent the absolute value of a number or expression.   |4| 
  |x + 2|
Misc. Quadratic Equation (-b + - sqrt(b^2 - 4ac))/(2a)
  Integral INT[(5 - x^3)dx] from -2 to 2
  Less than or Greater than x <= 5means x is less than or equal to 5
x > 3means x is greater than 3
  Area of a circle (pi)r^2  or pi*r^2