# Math Help: Useful Math Concepts

10/09/2015

## Math Concepts You Cannot Ignore

Some math concepts can be quite confusing and complicated. Here are some of the most important concepts you should know.

### Set Theory

A set is a group of objects, called elements. You can have sets of tangible items- shoes, movies, jewelry- or intangible things- numbers, ideas, fictional characters. Sets can contain other sets, but a set can never contain itself. Mathematicians use sets to define to define numbers and operations.

### Prime Numbers

Any number that cannot be divided by another number is a prime. Prime numbers have only two divisors- 1 and itself. There is an infinite number of primes, but you should know the first few: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, and 29.

### Variables

One of the most misunderstood concepts of mathematics is the variable. Long ago, some textbook author decided to use the letter to introduce variables, and now it has stuck. The fact that it looks like the symbol for multiplication makes matters worse. A variable can be anything, and that is the point to remember. Think of a bucket. You can put whatever you want into the bucket, and a variable is the same.

### PEMDAS

You need to know the order of operations for solving an equation, represented by PEMDAS. First, complete any operations in brackets or parentheses, then exponents, multiplication & division, and finally addition & subtraction.

### Remainder

The remainder is the whole number that remains after division. 10/3=3 and a remainder of 1. Put the remainder over the divisor to create a fraction or mixed number. 10/3=3+1/3.

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