Difference Between Math and ArithmeticDate: 11/06/2001 at 21:57:04 From: Vicki Kehoe Subject: Difference between math and arithmetic My students haven't heard the word arithmetic. No one seems to be able to tell the difference, if there is one, between arithmetic and mathematics. Is there a difference, and what is it? Date: 11/07/2001 at 08:53:42 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Difference between math and arithmetic Hi, Vicki. Arithmetic is just one branch of mathematics, namely that involving basic techniques of calculation with numbers. When you add, subtract, multiply, divide, take square roots, and so on, you are doing arithmetic. When you solve an equation you are doing algebra. When you determine relations between shapes or find their area, you are doing geometry (though the latter calculation will be done by applying arithmetic to the geometric formulas). Most of what young children learn in math is arithmetic. Here are some definitions of mathematics from the Dr. Math archives, to show how much bigger it is than arithmetic: What is Mathematics? http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/erum.09.22.00.html What is Math? http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/rob.09.14.01.html Also, did you try a dictionary? Although lexicographers do not always get the details of mathematical terms right, they are experts at identifying nuances of meaning. According to Merriam-Webster (m-w.com), arithmetic is a branch of mathematics that deals usually with the nonnegative real numbers including sometimes the transfinite cardinals and with the application of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to them while mathematics is the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/