Almost everything that surrounds us is a result of a process, and every process has certain rules. Rules make this world go round, and even though I’m a person who tends to live outside them, I still have to follow some of them in order to get by. Today I’m gonna talk about the first rules we learn in Maths: the BEDMAS (Brackets, Exponents, Division & Multiplication, Adition & Substraction) aka BODMAS aka PEDMAS (depends on the synonyms for Brackets and Exponents).

The rules simply say that first we start with things inside the brackets, then move onto exponents. Multiplication and division are all done at the same time, starting from the left and moving to the right. Then comes adition and substraction – again, these are done in the same time, starting from the left and moving to the right. Higher functions, such as logarithms and trigonometric functions, happen at the exponent level.

The levels make sense if you think about the operations that are performed. Adition is the most basic operation – the first we learn. Multiplication is really just successive aditions; that is to say, ‘two times five’ is really two added to itself five times. Next, an exponent just represents successive multiplications.

So, as you can see, as we move through the order of operations, we move towards ever more simple operations.

Sometimes we have to deal with nested brackets. Well, it’s no worry, we deal with them at a time, starting from the inside out.