Are you good in maths? By that we don’t mean linear maths, or something that is studied in NASA, we mean common school mathematics. While mathematics may be one of the worst subjects that are a bane for many people, there are those who actually love it. Well, good for them and as for the rest of us, well, one smart person has posted a mathematical equation and there is something about it that people aren’t quite getting because of one thing that many miss seeing in it. The equation has gone viral and many are cracking their brains over it as well as there is a raging debate going on too. Take a look at the problem

Here is the problem, can you solve it?

Here is the problem, can you solve it?

Just 1 in 1,000,000 can solve the equation which is actually very simple when you see the answer. How many taunts and tantalizing mathematical problems have you seen like this, well, surely this is going to beat all of them because of the difficulty in its simplicity. It’s just 8 ÷ 2(2+2) =? Have you managed it as yet?

This equation looks simple enough, right? Right?

This equation looks simple enough, right? Right?

Did you look at it properly? Did you apply what you learned in high school? The odds are that you might have got one of the two answers that people are getting. There is a huge argument in the internet which is correct.

What is your answer?

What is your answer

Well, are you well and truly perplexed by now just like all the others? Some have got 16 and some have got 1. Both amateur and professional mathematicians alike are debating as to what is exactly correct. Some have dual math’s degrees and saying 16, while some are students who say 1. What is it?

Are you using your scientific calculator?

Are you using your scientific calculator

Many internet users have no doubt brought out their scientific calculators to prove how the answer is 16 and some are using their degrees to show how the answer is 1. Others have given up while some are taking it really seriously and literally pulling their hair out. Some degree holders even went as far as saying that both answers are correct. How is that possible?

People couldn’t agree whether the answer to the equation was 1 or 16

People couldn’t agree whether the answer to the equation was 1 or 16

People are literally giving up because they can’t agree on 1 or 16. One genius said that he does parenthesis, division and blah blah blah and the answer is 1. One guy said that the amount of people saying 16 need to go back to school

Some applied the rule of BODMAS

Some applied the rule of BODMAS

There are many who applied the rule of BODMAS to get 1. In spite of this some are still applying their own equations to say 16. This is really infuriating.

A professor gives his analysis

A professor gives his analysis

One professor Dr Thomas House, a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Manchester University said that the answer depends on how you use the equation’s brackets. "The usual way to interpret the calculation is that anything within brackets comes first,"

"So we have 8÷2(2+2) = 8÷2(4). Then division takes place before multiplication, so we have 4(4), which is 16." However, looking at the brackets a different way gives you 1.

So what is the conclusion?

So what is the conclusion

Doctor house said that "If someone wants to give multiplication precedence over division, there’s nothing to stop them saying that 8/2(4) means 8/8 = 1.”

But, doesn’t that leave us hanging? He says when in doubt, use the "Typing the ambiguous 8/2*(2+2) into my computer gives 16, the ‘standard’ interpretation."

The biggest problem in solving this equation is that it has been written in a confusing way and on a computer you would have add a couple extra symbols to make clear what you mean. But calculators are also showing up different results.

Doctor House said "The lesson is that we have to be careful about definitions," Dr House said. "When writing computer code the first interpretation would normally be written (8/2)*(2+2) and the second 8/(2*(2+2)) to avoid any ambiguity."

So to conclude, it is either 1 or 16 depending on what math you apply. Or we can say simply MATHS!! RIP.