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Glossary of maths symbols
Glossary of maths symbols
Maths contains many symbols, known as notations, which represent different functions and operations. If you have questions about a symbol you’ve seen on the Learning Lab, check out the glossary below.
Foundational notations
These symbols appear across different areas of maths and science content.
Symbol 
Explanation 

\(+\)  plus 
\(\)  minus 
\(\times\)  multiplied by, times 
\(\div\)  divided by 
\(\pm\)  plusorminus 
\(=\)  equals 
\(\gt\)  greater than 
\(\lt\)  less than 
\(\ge\)  greater than or equal to 
\(\le\)  less than or equal to 
\(\neq\)  does not equal 
\(\approx\)  is approximately 
\(\propto\)  is proportional to 
\(\therefore\)  therefore 
\(\sqrt{}\)  root 
\(\%\)  percent 
\(\infty\)  infinity 
\(\theta\)  theta, represents an angle 
\(\Delta\)  delta, represents change 
\(\vert{x}\vert\)  absolute value of x 
Specialised notations
Each area of maths below has notations that are specific to the area.
Trigonometry, Indices, logs, surds, and Functions and graphs 


Symbol 
Explanation 
\(\angle\)  angle 
\(A\)  area 
\(V\)  volume 
\(l\)  length 
\(r\)  radius 
\(C\)  circumference 
\(\pi\)  pi, a constant approximately equal to 3.14 
\(e\)  Euler’s number, a constant approximately equal to 2.718 
\(\log\)  logarithm 
\(\ln\)  natural log 
\(\in\)  is an element of 
\(\Bbb{R}\)  the set of real numbers 
Differentiation, Integration, and Laplace transforms 


Symbol 
Explanation 
\(f'(x)\)  derivative of the function of x 
\(\int\)  integral 
\(\partial\)  partial derivative 
\(L\)  Laplace transform 
\(\lambda\)  eigenvalue 
Statistics 


Symbol 
Explanation 
\(\sum\)  sum 
\(\bar{x}\)  xbar, the mean of a set of data 
\(\mu\)  mu, the mean of the population 
\(s\)  standard deviation of a sample 
\(\sigma\)  standard deviation of the population 
\(s^2\)  variance of a sample 
\(\sigma^2\)  variance of the population 
\(Pr\)  probability 
\(C\)  combination 
\(!\)  factorial 
\(\cap\)  intersection 
\(\cup\)  union 
\(z\)  zscore 
\(n\)  size of a sample 
\(H_0\)  null hypothesis 
\(\alpha\)  significance level 
\(t\)  ttest 
\(\hat{p}\)  phat, a sample proportion 
\(p\)  population proportion 
\(q\)  probability of failure 
\(\lambda\)  mean or expected occurrences per unit time 
Vectors 


Symbol 
Explanation 
\(\vec{}\)  vector 
\(\vert{\vec{a}}\vert\)  length or magnitude of a vector 
\(\hat{a}\)  unit vector a 
\(\cdot\)  dot product 
\(\nabla\)  directional derivative 