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Can You ID All of These Mathematical Symbols? Are You Up to the Challenge?
by Jacqueline Samaroo
Shutterstock

Sometimes in mathematics, numbers aren’t enough. Do you know the basic symbols that mathematicians use as a second language? It’s going to take some serious smarts to guess them all, and if you succeed, we’re sending you off to Harvard to hang out with the ghost of John Nash. Symbols in all branches of mathematics are used to express formulas. That’s just common knowledge. What you might not know is that many symbols are synonymous with a concept, and many of these concepts are entirely arbitrary and were created as a result of the vast history of mathematics! So, on that note, do you know what the heck “≡" means? The real answer just might surprise you. If your curiosity isn’t piqued yet, let’s get it rolling. Basic symbols are widely used in math, and these are learned in first-year calculus. There’s a whole subset of symbols that are based on equality, or “=“. These symbols are derived from or similar to the equal sign. There are then symbols that point left and right, brackets, other non-letter symbols, and don’t even get us started on letter symbols! (And their modifiers, Latin letters, and even Hebrew and Greek letters. We’re not kidding) So, there you go. Now that your mind is ripe and your heart is pounding, let’s throw the mathematical symbols quiz your way and see if everything adds up. Smarty pants!

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