Have you ever wondered the rationale behind mathematics conventions?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Why multiplication is evaluated before addition, and not the other way around ? Either way would make the expression 3 x 5 + 8 unambiguous.

Some argue that the frequency of occurrence plays a role in the convention, implying multiplication occurs more often than addition. But how do you explain factorials evaluated before addition? It's certainly not more frequent than addition.

Others suggest that it's position of operator that plays a role in such convention, claiming that prefixes or suffixes, such as factorials and exponents, must be evaluated before others. Is that true? How do you evaluate the following expression without parenthesis?

4

Π n+1

n=1

[URL]http://img.mathtex.org/3/36c0f2ddfb8b7ed0fa7f9f5a4cdd126d.png[/URL]

Latex:

\prod_{n=1}^{4}n+1

Where to find an authoritative source of mathematics conventions? Thanks in advance!

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Mathematics Conventions and Rationale

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**