Adding Fractions


Mathematics has got to be the most interesting of all subjects. As I was telling the wonderful math faculty at Berkshire Community College, even arithmetic is fascinating. Addition and multiplication are commutative: 4+7=7+4 and 4×7=7×4. I recall MIT Professor Michael Artin saying:

When I ask my kids what’s 4×7, they answer “28.”

7×4? “28.”

4+7? “11.”

7+4? “You already asked us that.”

Commutativity of multiplication is true, but commutativity of addition is obvious. Later on those youngsters will find that for matrices, addition remains commutative but multiplication does not.

“Now if you could only make fractions interesting,” the math faculty responded.

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