What is summation notation?

1 Answer
Jun 25, 2015

Answer:

Summation is a shorthand way for writing long additions.

Explanation:

Say you want to add all numbers up to and including 50.
Then you could write out:
#1+2+3+......+49+50#
(If you really write this out in full, it'll be a long line of numbers).

With this notation you would write:
#sum_(k=1)^50 k#
Meaning: sum up all the numbers #k# from #1to50#
The #Sigma#-(sigma)-sign is the Greek letter for #S# (sum).

Another example:
If you want to add all the squares from #1to10# you simply write:
#sum_(k=1)^10 k^2#
You see that this #Sigma#-thing is a very versatile tool.