Viral Math equation that stumped the internet

02 Aug 2019 / 12:05 H.

THE internet has provided viral quizzes that strains the mind. Recently, a viral Math problem has stumped the internet.

The equation looked simple enough: 8÷2(2+2)

If anyone remembers what they have learned in school, the answer should be 16. However, there were some who insisted that 8 divided by 8 equals to 1.

To further complicate things further, it just confuses both parties the more people try to explain their way of solving the equation.

The only way to settle this argument once and for all is to consult an expert in Mathematics.

Here’s what Mike Breen, the Public Awareness Officer for the American Mathematical Society has to say:

“According to the order of operations, you solve whatever is in the parentheses first. That gives you 4. Then, in PEMDAS, multiplication and division take equal precedence, so you’d do the first that occurs from left to right. So you’d do 8 divided by 2 first, which is 4. Thus, it’s 16 according to classic order of operations.

But the way it’s written, it’s ambiguous. In math, a lot of times there are ambiguities. Mathematicians try to make rules as precise as possible. According to strict order of operations, you’d get 16, but I wouldn’t hit someone on the wrist with a ruler if they said 1.”

Which answer did you get? One thing is for sure, all of us need to go back to school.

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