1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data I'm trying to find out how people in the USA would refer to the following operations - i.e. what name would you give the process of doing something like this: a(a + b) = a^2 + ab (a + b)^2 = (a + b)(a + b) = a^2 + 2ab + b^2 2. Relevant equations N/A. 3. The attempt at a solution I have a number of US physics books, but they don't cover algebra. All of my math(s) books are UK or international.I would call the above operation 'multiplying out the brackets', e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/maths/algebra/symbolsrev4.shtml But I believe that in the USA, () are called parentheses - so there must be different terminology for the operation as well? As I don't know what it is, I don't know what to search for using a search engine! So any light that can be shed on the subject would be gratefully received - thanks in advance.