Where do math symbols come from?

00 hours 05 mins

Math is full of symbols: lines, dots, arrows, English letters, Greek letters, superscripts, subscripts ... it can look like an illegible jumble. Where did all of these symbols come from? John David Walters shares the origins of mathematical symbols, and illuminates why they’re still so important in the field today.

A quick quiz on this video is here.

A deeper question for your higher graders could be:

Is the mathematical notation we have inherited still adequate to the needs of students and researchers? Is there any way it could be improved, perhaps to make it more accessible?

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