TheInfoList

In
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, an expression or mathematical expression is a finite combination of
symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meanin ...
that is
well-formed Well-formed or wellformed indicate syntactic correctness and may refer to: * Well-formedness, quality of linguistic elements that conform to grammar rules * Well-formed formula, a string that is generated by a formal grammar in logic * Well-formed ...
according to rules that depend on the context. Mathematical symbols can designate numbers (
constant Constant or The Constant may refer to: Mathematics * Constant (mathematics) In mathematics, the word constant can have multiple meanings. As an adjective, it refers to non-variance (i.e. unchanging with respect to some other Value (mathematics ...
s), variables, operations,
function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
s,
bracket A bracket is either of two tall fore- or back-facing punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding ...
s, punctuation, and grouping to help determine
order of operations In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... and other aspects of logical syntax. Many authors distinguish an expression from a
formula In science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well a ... , the former denoting a mathematical object, and the latter denoting a statement about mathematical objects. For example, $8x-5$ is an expression, while $8x-5 \geq 5x-8$ is a formula. However, in modern mathematics, and in particular in
computer algebra In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
, formulas are viewed as expressions that can be evaluated to ''true'' or ''false'', depending on the values that are given to the variables occurring in the expressions. For example $8x-5 \geq 5x-8$ takes the value ''false'' if is given a value less than ŌĆō1, and the value ''true'' otherwise.

# Examples

The use of expressions ranges from the simple: ::$3+8$ ::$8x-5$   (
linear polynomial In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
) ::$7+4x-10$   (
quadratic polynomial In algebra Algebra (from ar, ž¦┘äž¼ž©ž▒, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...
) ::$\frac$   (
rational fraction In algebra Algebra (from ar, ž¦┘äž¼ž©ž▒, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In ...
) to the complex: ::$f\left(a\right)+\sum_^n\left.\frac\frac\_f\left(u\left(t\right)\right) + \int_0^1 \frac \frac f\left(u\left(t\right)\right)\, dt.$

# Syntax versus semantics

## Syntax

An expression is a syntactic construct. It must be
well-formed Well-formed or wellformed indicate syntactic correctness and may refer to: * Well-formedness, quality of linguistic elements that conform to grammar rules * Well-formed formula, a string that is generated by a formal grammar in logic * Well-formed ...
: the allowed operators must have the correct number of inputs in the correct places, the characters that make up these inputs must be valid, have a clear
order of operations In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... , etc. Strings of symbols that violate the rules of syntax are not well-formed and are not valid mathematical expressions. For example, in the usual notation of
arithmetic Arithmetic (from the Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:en:ß╝ĆŽü╬╣╬Ė╬╝ŽīŽé#Ancient Greek, ß╝ĆŽü╬╣╬Ė╬╝ŽīŽé ''arithmos'', 'number' and wikt:en:Žä╬╣╬║╬«#Ancient Greek, Žä╬╣╬║╬« wikt:en:Žä╬ŁŽć╬Į╬Ę#Ancient Greek, ä╬ŁŽć╬Į╬Ę ''tik├® ├®chne', 'art' or 'cr ...
, the expression ''1 + 2 ├Ś 3'' is well-formed, but the following expression is not: :$\times4\right)x+,/y$.

## Semantics

Semantics is the study of meaning. Formal semantics is about attaching meaning to expressions. In
algebra Algebra (from ar, ž¦┘äž¼ž©ž▒, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ... , an expression may be used to designate a value, which might depend on values assigned to variables occurring in the expression. The determination of this value depends on the
semantics Semantics (from grc, Žā╬Ę╬╝╬▒╬ĮŽä╬╣╬║ŽīŽé ''s─ōmantik├│s'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
attached to the symbols of the expression. The choice of semantics depends on the context of the expression. The same syntactic expression ''1 + 2 ├Ś 3'' can have different values (mathematically 7, but also 9), depending on the
order of operations In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... Operations ┬¦ Calculators ). The semantic rules may declare that certain expressions do not designate any value (for instance when they involve division by 0); such expressions are said to have an undefined value, but they are well-formed expressions nonetheless. In general the meaning of expressions is not limited to designating values; for instance, an expression might designate a condition, or an
equation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ... that is to be solved, or it can be viewed as an object in its own right that can be manipulated according to certain rules. Certain expressions that designate a value simultaneously express a condition that is assumed to hold, for instance those involving the operator $\oplus$ to designate an internal
direct sum The direct sum is an operation from abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathema ...
.

## Formal languages and lambda calculus

Formal languages allow formalizing the concept of well-formed expressions. In the 1930s, a new type of expressions, called
lambda expressions Lambda calculus (also written as ╬╗-calculus) is a formal system A formal system is used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logi ...
, were introduced by
Alonzo Church Alonzo Church (June 14, 1903 ŌĆō August 11, 1995) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (US ...
and
Stephen Kleene Stephen Cole Kleene ( ; January 5, 1909 ŌĆō January 25, 1994) was an American mathematician. One of the students of Alonzo Church, Kleene, along with R├│zsa P├®ter, Alan Turing, Emil Post, and others, is best known as a founder of the branch of m ...
for formalizing
function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
s and their evaluation. They form the basis for
lambda calculus Lambda calculus (also written as ''╬╗''-calculus) is a formal system A formal system is an used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, ar ...
, a
formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A for ...
used in
mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical properties of formal sys ...
and the theory of programming languages. The equivalence of two lambda expressions is undecidable. This is also the case for the expressions representing real numbers, which are built from the integers by using the arithmetical operations, the logarithm and the exponential ( Richardson's theorem).

# Variables

Many mathematical expressions include variables. Any variable can be classified as being either a
free variable In mathematics, and in other disciplines involving formal languages, including mathematical logic and computer science, a free variable is a Mathematical notation, notation (symbol) that specifies places in an expression (mathematics), expressio ...
or a
bound variable In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
. For a given combination of values for the free variables, an expression may be evaluated, although for some combinations of values of the free variables, the value of the expression may be undefined. Thus an expression represents a
function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
whose inputs are the values assigned to the free variables and whose output is the resulting value of the expression. For example, the expression :$x/y$ evaluated for ''x'' = 10, ''y'' = 5, will give 2; but it is undefined for ''y'' = 0. The evaluation of an expression is dependent on the definition of the mathematical operators and on the system of values that is its context. Two expressions are said to be equivalent if, for each combination of values for the free variables, they have the same output, i.e., they represent the same function. Example: The expression :$\sum_^ \left(2nx\right)$ has free variable ''x'', bound variable ''n'', constants 1, 2, and 3, two occurrences of an implicit multiplication operator, and a summation operator. The expression is equivalent to the simpler expression 12''x''. The value for ''x'' = 3 is 36.

*
Algebraic closure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
*
Algebraic expressionIn mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ha ...
*
Analytic expression Generally speaking, analytic (from el, ß╝Ć╬Į╬▒╬╗ŽģŽä╬╣╬║ŽīŽé, ''analytikos'') refers to the "having the ability to analyze" or "division into elements or principles". Analytic can also have the following meanings: Natural sciences Chemistry * ...
*
Closed-form expression In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
*
Combinator Combinatory logic is a notation to eliminate the need for Quantifier (logic), quantified variables in mathematical logic. It was introduced by Moses Sch├Čnfinkel and Haskell Curry, and has more recently been used in computer science as a theoretic ...
*
Computer algebra expression *
Defined and undefined In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
*
Equation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ... *
Expression (programming)In computer science, an expression is a syntactic In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, ...
*
Formal grammar In formal language theory In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:╬╗╬ ...
*
Formula In science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well a ... *
Functional programming In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , ...
* Logical expression *
Term (logic) In mathematical logic, a term denotes a mathematical object while a Formula (mathematical logic), formula denotes a mathematical fact. In particular, terms appear as components of a formula. This is analogous to natural language, where a noun phras ...

# References

* {{Mathematical logic Abstract algebra Logical expressions bg:ąśąĘčĆą░ąĘ pl:Wyra┼╝enie algebraiczne