06/12/2012 08:51 AMPosted by SigtyrThis is why they put parentheses on calculators. The nature of this math problem lends itself to ambiguity and the interpretation of the reader.

there is no ambiguity. math does not work off interpretation of the reader. math is immutable and is not subjective. if someone has an issue with understanding the concept here and how to apply the order of operations then they do not correctly understand mathematics and should consider taking a middle school course.

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288.

48/ 2 (9+3) is EXACTLY the same as 48/2 *(9+3).

you do not multiply 2*12 before you divide 48/2 because the parenthesis is done already, the multiplication is OUTSIDE the parenthesis, therefore it is a normal multiplication.

Multiplication and division have the same priority so left to right rule applies.

No just no.

48/ 2(9+3) - > 48 / ( 2 * (9+3))

48 divided by 2 times the sum of 9 plus 3. You need to know the value of 2 times 9+3 before you can do the division due to the order of operations.

Had the equation been written 48/2*(9+3) you would have an argument however with the 2(9+3) it implies that you have (2*(9+3)).

Case closed, answer is 2.

nah, it's really not. you are adding parenthesis now to make a different expression. you should have stayed in school past grade 7. case closed

Edited by jordan#1710 on 6/12/2012 8:57 AM PDT