This blog is for people who think they are no good at maths. I say to you: **You are better than you think**. Read on for proof.

***

* *Let us start with the simple notion of an **expression. **As its name suggests, an expression is used to express (or *denote*) a value. A value may be a sum of money or the weight of an object or the truth of an assertion.

There are two kinds of expressions: **constants **and **variables.**

A constant represents a particular value and that value cannot be changed. Examples of constants include , .

A variable can represent any value (though only one value at time). In addition the value of a variable can be replaced by another expression. We’ll see exactly how to do this later on. We use single italic letters for variables e.g. , .

All our expressions will denote at most one value, but a value may be denoted by more than one expression. For example the expressions and both denote the same value.

Now writing

“the expression denotes the same value as the expression ”

over and over would become quite tiresome. So we instead we just write

pronounced “ equals “.

Moreover, we may view X = Y not just as a statement of fact but as **an expression in its own right**. But what, then, is its value?

*Exercise *– Ask any mathematicians you know what they can tell you about the value of .

### Like this:

Like Loading...

This entry was posted on October 10, 2007 at 11:37 am and is filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

## Leave a Reply