from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Wastemen: The Home FrontSaturday, 23rd May 2015 02:55 - BBC TwoIn the first of the series, Christmas is coming. And the most magical time of the year brings with it enormous... Read more: Wastemen: The Home Front
Thinking Allowed: Poverty in Britain and unemployment as a choiceMonday, 25th May 2015 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - SexMonday, 25th May 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - SexTuesday, 26th May 2015 02:00 - BBC Four
Inside The Medieval Mind: KnowledgeAvailable until Saturday, 20th June 2015 00:00Explore the way medieval eyes saw the world – a place of mystery, enchantment, culminating in birth of the modern... Read more: OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Knowledge
Thinking Allowed: Poverty in Britain and unemployment as a choiceAvailable until Friday, 20th May 2016 12:00
Inside The Medieval Mind: KnowledgeAvailable until Saturday, 20th June 2015 00:00
Secret History Of... Portland RoadAvailable until Friday, 19th June 2015 02:20
Parlez-vous Eurovision?As English-language songs dominate the Eurovision Song Contest in its 60th anniversary, this... Read more: Parlez-vous Eurovision?
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingLearn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Language, notation and formulas
Communication is as vital in mathematics as in any language. This unit will help you to...
Communication is as vital in mathematics as in any language. This unit will help you to express yourself clearly when writing and speaking about mathematics. You will also learn how to answer questions in the manner that is expected by the examiner.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- lay out and, where appropriate, label simple mathematical arguments;
- understand the precise mathematical meaning of certain common English words;
- understand and use common mathematical symbols;
- write clear, unambiguous mathematical solutions using appropriate notation;
- identify and modify some sources of ambiguity or inappropriate use of notation in a mathematical solution;
- use word formulas to calculate given quantities;
- use formulas to convert units.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Communicating mathematics
- 2 Reading mathematics
- 2.1 Layout
- 2.2 Using the equals sign
- 2.3 Link words
- 2.4 Labelling lines
- 2.5 Vocabulary
- 2.6 Making sense of symbols
- 2.7 Powers and roots
- 2.8 Relationship symbols
- 3 Formulas
- 4 The format of questions
- 5 Approaches to problem solving
- 6 Writing out solutions
- 7 OpenMark quiz
Language, notation and formulas
An integral part of learning mathematics involves communication.
Writing mathematics is a specific skill which needs to be developed and practised: there is a lot of difference between putting down a few symbols for your own use and writing a mathematical solution intended for someone else to read. In attempting mathematical questions, you may previously have written down very little, just enough, perhaps, to convince yourself that you could answer the questions. This may suffice now, but you may want to use your notes and solutions for revision so you will want them to be self-contained, able to stand on their own and easy to read. This will also be the case if you are writing mathematics for somebody else to read.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Mathematics: a foundation course (MU120) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Mathematics Education course units or view the range of currently available OU Mathematics Education courses.