Simple maths question causing chaos
8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?
What seems like a simple maths equation is dividing the internet, and no one can agree on the correct answer.
An image of the controversial question went viral after being posted on Twitter earlier this week, sparking a fierce debate - is the answer 1 or 16?
"We need to have more brain games on this app cuz some of y'all stupid. Let's see who's smart. Lol," Twitter user LifeOfJay98 wrote.
i have 2 math degrees it’s 1— laur♏️ (@lauram_williams) July 30, 2019
Anything other than 1 is absolutely wrong hth— Alex⚓ (@ClassyXhakalaca) July 28, 2019
The amount of people saying 1 is scary— Ashley Cherelle (@_ashleycherelle) July 28, 2019
The answer is 16. People are making this much harder than it needs to be— Charles Russell (@MichigantoAZ) July 31, 2019
1. The amount of people saying 16 need to retake math 😭— JKOurEuphoria (@JungKookQueen97) July 28, 2019
took 3 calc classes, differential equations and linear algebra, it's 16 bro— jake chyllenhaal (@corynhendrix) July 30, 2019
Some said the answer depends on whether you perform the multiplication or division first, because under the PEDMAS order of operations method they both take equal weight.
PEDMAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. In British English it's also known as BODMAS, which stands Brackets, Orders, Division and Multiplication, and Addition and Subtraction.
(2+2) 4— koook (@SoWhAT9000) July 28, 2019
According to PEMDAS you need to get rid of parathenses first so
8/8=1 answer is one.
8/2(2+2)— naomi (@mikrogguki) July 29, 2019
Yes, you do use PEMDAS, but because division comes first in this equation, you divide first.
It's either 1 or 16 depending on which mathematician you listen to, because order of operations isn't a hard and fast rule, and math is really just a language.— 🇳🇴Moon-faced Assassin of Joy🇺🇸 (@NomeDaBarbarian) July 30, 2019
And nothing is true. pic.twitter.com/d324s8grlA
everyones saying 16 because of the "left right rule" but they all forgot that the first two is part of the parentheses so 16 can't be correct— ⭒ 𝑏𝑙𝑢𝑒 𝑖𝑣𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑛𝑡 ⭒ (@Fatouuuu_) July 28, 2019
This is really not complicated. The formatting would imply - to anyone who’s ever actually *used* maths - that the division and the multiplication don’t hold equal “priorities”. The lack of any space before the bracket means that the “2(2 + 2)” term would be calculated first (8).— David Barnett (@dnb20) July 31, 2019
Both 1 and 16 are correct answers because the notation of the equation is incorrect. Can everyone stfu now? https://t.co/N5SFpSyewH— ᴋᴏᴏᴋᴀᴅᴏᴏᴋs (@bstpeach) July 30, 2019
"My 21-year-old daughter asked me about this yesterday," Michael O'Connor, schools outreach manager at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, said in an email.
"Questions like this keep popping up. For me it's the equivalent of a poorly punctuated sentence. It is ambiguous. It is unclear whether the division is pertaining to just the first 2, making it ... 16, or the 2 and the brackets, which is ... 1. Just like a sentence that is not punctuated fully can lead to more than one interpretation, so too do questions like this."
In other words, both answers are right - it's the question that's wrong.