# Visiting the Learning Lab Math Center

I went into the learning lab and in the mathematics section I chose the presentation titled “Basic Algebra Skills-Real numbers & Algebraic Equations, Exponents & Scientific Notation, Radicals & Radical Exponents, and Polynomials”. I chose this presentation because I felt I needed to remember algebraic equations, exponents and polynomials. I have not had algebra for many years so this presentation was a very good refresher.
It reminded me about real numbers and algebraic expressions and square roots. It was good to be reminded about the steps you take in algebra to solve an equation such as:

Perform operations within the innermost parenthesis first and working outward.
Evaluate all exponential expressions.
Perform multiplications and divisions as they occur, working from left to right.
Perform additions and subtractions as they occur, working from left to right.

Overall the presentation was a very good reminder. I am happy I watched this particular presentation.
I definitely will benefit by visiting the learning lab math center because I have not had algebra in many years and I will need the extra help to learn.  I would explain to the programmers in my new job that a mathematical expression is a phrase or a sentence fragment with a variable that has to be simplified and has no relation symbol. And that a mathematical equation is a sentence that you solve and has a relation symbol and is a statement that two numbers or expressions are equal. A couple of mathematical examples of the difference between an expression and an equation is:

Mathematical expression – 1. z + 2 ? (7 – z) 2. A number is less than five. x < 10
Mathematical equation – 1. 6 =6 2. 15 = 2 + 13 A real life example of when someone would use a mathematical expression is when a car is going a certain mph speed and the driver wants to know how many miles he has traveled after so many hours. A real life example of when someone would use a mathematical equation would be to figure their profit or loss during months of business.
I would explain to the programmer that the expression means five x five x five = 125 and not 5 x 3. I would explain that 5 is the “base” and 3 is the “exponent” or “power”. I would show him/her how to calculate it on paper.

A real life example where one would use exponents is when one would need to measure square feet, square kilometers or square inches. You might also use it if you need extremely tiny or extremely big quantity results.
References

Math League Press, (copyright, 1997-2006). Introduction to algebra.
Retrieved from http://www. mathleague. com Miller, M. (copyright, 2003 -2012). Where do you need or use exponents in everyday life?.
Retrieved from http://www. homeschoolmath. net/teaching/where-need-exponents. php Editorial Board. College algebra. Chapters 1 and 2. Colorado Technical University: Words of Wisdom.

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