# Arithmetic Operations

Many times a programmer is given an algebraic formula, and must write an assignment statement that will correctly calculate the answer. After writing a statement, check it by hand, using sample values and the method shown above to verify that the equation is correct. Use the following guidelines to convert algebraic expressions to programming statements:

Algebra ActionScript Explanation
xy x*y Algebra uses single letters for variables, and can omit the *, programming languages always require an operator.
x·y x*y Algebra sometimes uses a dot for multiplication.
x*x You could use Math.pow(x,2) but x*x is faster.
Math.pow(x,z) The pow function raises X to the Z power.
Math.sqrt(x) The Math.sqrt function returns the square root.
(a+b)/c Compound numerators and divisors must be enclosed in parenthesis: Notice the difference between this example and the one below.
a+b/c Notice the difference between this example and the one above.

Remember: Algebra uses single letters for variables: programmers should use good variable names wherever possible!