 ## 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
$$\pm$$ plus-or-minus
$$=$$ 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
$$\bar{x}$$ x-bar, 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
$$z$$ z-score
$$n$$ size of a sample
$$H_0$$ null hypothesis
$$\alpha$$ significance level
$$t$$ t-test
$$\hat{p}$$ p-hat, 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