Math Review Handout #1
EQUATIONS IN 20 SECONDS
Donna Park
Principles of
Economics
Note:
This handout is NOT a rigorous mathematical treatment of equations.
Its purpose
is simply to remind people of material that they should have covered in junior high math.
An equation is a mathematical form that illustrates two numerical values that are equal.
For example,
2
2
=
It is obvious that this equation states that a value of 2 is equal to any other value of 2.
Variables
Variables are often incorporated into equations.
For example,
2
x
=
This equation states that the value of the variable x is equal to 2.
If I said that the
variable x stood for the quantity demanded measured in tons, then the previous equation
states that the quantity demanded is 2 tons.
Note:
The equations
2
x
=
and
x
2
=
are equivalent, they both give exactly the same
information.
Often I will refer to a variable as an unknown (its value is unknown until we
solve the equation).
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 Fall '10
 W.GrayGiovannetti
 Economics, Equations, Elementary algebra, Plus and minus signs, Equation solving

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