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Guide to Essential Math, 2nd Edition by Sy M. Blinder

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Chapter 3

Algebra

3.1 Symbolic Variables

Algebra is a lot like arithmetic but deals with symbolic variables in addition to numbers. Very often these include image, and/or z, especially for “unknown” quantities which is often your job to solve for. Earlier letters of the alphabet such as image are often used for “constants,” quantities whose values are determined by assumed conditions before you solve a particular problem. Most English letters find use somewhere as either variables or constants. Remember that variables are case sensitive, so X designates a different ...

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