‘Simple’ math problem is stumping the internet

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A difficult internet problem has the internet confused. The problem, which seems simple, is stumping maths fans, who are coming up with two answers.

A maths expert from the YouTube channel MindYourDecisions who studied Mathematics and Economics at Stanford solved the issue once and for all.

Maths lovers confronted with the problem were confused as to how to solve it and which part of the problem they should solve first.

And, there seems to be a generational divide as to how the problem is solved. So, how would you solve the sum 6 ÷ 2 (1 + 2) + ?

The answer you get depends on the way you tackle the sum. If you were taught your maths more recently, you probably follow the PEMDAS method.

This means solving what’s in the parenthesis first, and then solving exponents, then multiplication or division, then addition, and lastly subtraction.

When following this method the sum becomes 6 ÷ 2 x 3. Then 6 ÷ 2 is solved, resulting in three, so the final sum is 3×3 and the correct answer for the quote problem is 9.

However, using the old fashion method, which dates back to 100 years ago, would come up with a different answer.

However, the parenthesis is still solved first. This means you would still address 6 ÷ 2 x 3.

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However, you would then divide whatever is on the left side of the division sign (the obelus) by the sum of what was to its right.

This means 2 x 3 would be solved first leaving you with the sum 6 ÷ 6, which would be 1.

Those in the comments, however, suggested they were taught the old method despite being educated recently. Nrianna Deleon wrote: “Just graduated and I was legitimately taught that ‘historical way’ all through school.”

Another said: “In France, I’ve been taught it in a way, that this equation equals 1.”

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