Multiplication and Addition ```Name: John W. Status: student Age: N/A Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: N/A ``` Question: I once asked my Calculus teacher if multiplication was just an advanced form of addition and he didn't seem to understand my meaning. What I mean couldn't you say multiplication is a simplification of addition? You either say two times three or add 3 twice or add 2 three times. Replies: Yes, multiplication is defined as sequential addition, and division is defined as sequential subtraction. Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D. Assistant Director PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois Perhaps a better way to word it is: Multiplication is a short-hand way to do multiple additions. If you want to add 8 to something, but you want to add it seven times, it is quicker to add 8x7 to that something. This becomes less easy to see when decimals, fractions, and algebra are considered. However, it is still there. I complement you on realizing an attribute of multiplication missed by many students. It indicates a desire to understand rather than to simply repeat. Kenneth Mellendorf You are quite correct n*m is just (m+m+m+...m) n-times or \ (n+n+...+n) m-times. However, you have to be careful when the definition of multiplication is generalized to decimals and fractions. For example, what does 3*(2.71) mean? Vince Calder Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

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