Basic symbols in Mathematics and Statistics

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Basic math symbols

Symbol
Symbol Name
Meaning / definition
Example
=
equals sign
equality
3 = 1+2
3 is equal to 1+2
not equal sign
inequality
2 ≠ 3
2 is not equal to 2
approximately equal
approximation
sin(0.01) ≈ 0.01,
x ≈ y means x is approximately equal to y
> 
strict inequality
greater than
3 > 2
3 is greater than 2
< 
strict inequality
less than
2 < 3
2 is less than 3
inequality
greater than or equal to
5 ≥ 4,
x ≥ y means x is greater than or equal to y
inequality
less than or equal to
4 ≤ 5,
x ≤ y means x is greater than or equal to y
( )
parentheses
calculate expression inside first
2 × (3+5) = 16
[ ]
brackets
calculate expression inside first
[(1+2)*(1+5)] = 18
+
plus sign
addition
1 + 1 = 2
minus sign
subtraction
2 − 1 = 1
±
plus - minus
both plus and minus operations
3 ± 5 = 8 and -2
minus - plus
both minus and plus operations
3  5 = -2 and 8
*
asterisk
multiplication
2 * 3 = 6
×
times sign
multiplication
2 × 3 = 6
multiplication dot
multiplication
2 3 = 6
÷
division sign / obelus
division
6 ÷ 2 = 3
/
division slash
division
6 / 2 = 3
horizontal line
division / fraction
mod
modulo
remainder calculation
7 mod 2 = 1
.
period
decimal point, decimal separator
2.56 = 2+56/100
ab
power
exponent
2= 8
a^b
caret
exponent
2 ^ 3 = 8
a
square root
a · a  = a
√9 = ±3
3a
cube root
3a · 3√a  · 3√a  = a
3√8 = 2
4a
fourth root
4a · 4√a  · 4√a  · 4√a  = a
4√16 = ±2
na
n-th root (radical)
for n=3, n√8 = 2
%
percent
1% = 1/100
10% × 30 = 3
per-mille
1‰ = 1/1000 = 0.1%
10‰ × 30 = 0.3
ppm
per-million
1ppm = 1/1000000
10ppm × 30 = 0.0003
ppb
per-billion
1ppb = 1/1000000000
10ppb × 30 = 3×10-7
ppt
per-trillion
1ppt = 10-12
10ppt × 30 = 3×10-10

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