Just a simple math question for all to enjoy...

I know the answer is 1 and can explain it but this has blown up the internet world

Steve C

Just a simple math question for all to enjoy...

I know the answer is 1 and can explain it but this has blown up the internet world

Steve C

Steve Calvert wrote:

Show you work (as your teacher probably said many years ago) and

not your calculator**use your brain**Steve C

I did that, and I got 16. I'm just a dumb ex-carpenter and not an engineer, and it's been a long time since I was in school, so maybe someone could explain where I went wrong?

And that's what many others got as well Glenn Schroeder. I'm not an Engineer either, even though I play one at work but I remembered something from school many years ago and it stayed in my mind.

Steve C

I don't mind showing my work at all. In fact I like to because when I do a series of calcs and come Back to it a month later I can see how badly I messed it up in the first place :-)

That being said I don't like doing extra work because software doesn't do math correctly. You shouldn't have to add extra parens because the software does not know the order of operations.

I didn't get to see this trend start on the internet but I find it an interesting topic to discuss. I'm sure there are some cultures that see it differently then others.

I'd like to hear an explanation on the whole Excel thing, why does it need more parenthesis and equation signs to work? Is this something more related to programming rules?

Always the parenthesis are resolved first

(2+2)=4

Now that I'm explaining it is a little more subtle and I can see where there's an issue.

Because the 2(2+2) is close together, I assumed they are "grouped" and that's a big assumption. To be completely clear it should have a parenthesis around it. But the spaces around the division symbol made it clear what the intent was to me (resolve the 2(2+2) before dividing)...If that makes sense.

**I'm sure there are some cultures that see it differently then others.**I'm pretty sure the mathematical operations order is universal and not cultural. I'll let Steve answer that though.

**I'd like to hear an explanation on the whole Excel thing, why does it need more parenthesis and equation signs to work? Is this something more related to programming rules?**The US placed 38th out of 71 countries in mathematics....that is all the explanation you need to know to understand why a software program developed here doesn't do math right :-)

Matt Peneguy wrote:

Always the parenthesis are resolved first

(2+2)=4

Now that I'm explaining it is a little more subtle and I can see where there's an issue.

Because the 2(2+2) is close together, I assumed they are "grouped" and that's a big assumption. To be completely clear it should have a parenthesis around it. But the spaces around the division symbol made it clear what the intent was to me (resolve the 2(2+2) before dividing)...If that makes sense.

So, actually the answer is 16. It would have been 1 if there had been parentheses around 2(2+2).

The answer is 1. PEMDAS - Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

8/2(2+2)

8/2(4)

8/8 = 1