What is and Why study Algebra

What:
“Algebra (from Arabic ‘al-jabr’ meaning ‘reunion of broken parts’) is one of the broad parts of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and analysis. ”  For more detail, click Algebra.

In today’s vernacular, “Using the rules of arithmetic to deduce a numeric value from given numeric properties.”

This process can be encapsulated in  “Finding the zeros of real functions” and is illustrated in textbooks by showing how to find the zeros of linear (ax+b), quadratic ( a^2+ 3x - 8 ) and other rational  (polynomial divided by polynomial) functions.  Other functions studied in an algebra course include:

  1.  radical functions like \sqrt x
  2. exponential functions like e^x

WHY:

Studying Algebra, even successfully, will not make you any richer, happier nor healthier.   However, one day you may be surprised at how easy and automatic it is to make logical decisions about an investment, a motor trip or your garage band.  The most valuable lessons from your study of Algebra will be discipline and confidence.   That is our hope and expectation.

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