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Expressions What Are They ?

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1/30/2013 Expressions 2 What Are Expressions ? Algebraic Expression A symbol, or finite combination of symbols, that represents a number Algebraic symbols represent constants, variables, arithmetic operations, functional values and grouping symbols Symbols are used for computation of expression value

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1/30/2013 Expressions 3 Algebraic Expressions Constants Fixed values represented by real (or complex) numbers such as 2, 5, 6.98, or by symbols such as Variables A real (or complex) variable is an unknown real (or complex) number usually represented by letters such as x, y, m, n, k, etc. What Are Expressions ? a, b, c, , or e

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1/30/2013 Expressions 4 Algebraic Expressions Arithmetic Operations Symbols +, –,, and / (for Functional Values f(x), g(y), e x, x 2, log 2 x, Groupings Paired symbols such as ( ), [ ] or { } Used to group expression symbols to indicate order of computation What Are Expressions ? ) x + 1

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1/30/2013 Expressions 5 Expression Examples a – b 3. 2x (x 2 – 6)/(x – 2) ( (x + 1) 2 – 5 log 3 x ) y 7. [ (x + 1) 2 – 5 log 3 x ] y x + 5x + 54 – 3

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1/30/2013 Expressions 6 What do we DO with expressions ? Simplify them Evaluate them when variables are known We DO NOT solve expressions An expression represents a number, not a statement of equality or inequality Without further information we cannot find the value of any variable in the expression

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1/30/2013 Expressions 7 Expressions vs Equations Expressions Equations are NOT Note: We cannot solve an expression

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1/30/2013 Expressions 8 Expressions vs Equations Expressions Functions are NOT Note: Functions have a domain and range but expressions do not

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1/30/2013 Expressions 9 Think about it !

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