Review of the Basics

Chapter 1 Topics

1.1 Algebraic Expressions

1.2 Linear Equations—Manipulating and Solving

1.3 Natural Logarithms

Where can you go in life and not be exposed to numbers and mathematics? Whether you are figuring out the price of a product (including taxes and shipping) on your favourite online shopping website, or balancing your bank accounts, you use your elementary mathematical skills from both your primary and secondary education.

Think about the math you perform every day:

  • At the grocery store, you compare products to calculate the best value. One brand of potato chips retails for $3.99 for 300 g, while the equally satisfying brand beside it is priced at $3.49 for 250 g. Which offers the better value?
  • As the host for a large gathering, you are preparing a homemade lasagna and need to triple the original recipe, which calls for 1 ⅔ cups of tomato sauce. In the expanded recipe, how many cups of tomato sauce do you need?
  • If you are a sports fan, you know plenty of statistics about your favourite players and teams. Many come in percentage form, such as three-point throws for NBA stars or save percentages for NHL goaltenders. What exactly do those percentages mean?
  • Many employers pay out bonuses. Perhaps in your company managers get twice as large a bonus as non-management employees. Your company has five managers and 25 non-management employees. If it announces a $35,000 total bonus, what is your share as a non-management employee?

Mathematics and numbers surround you in the business world, where you must read many numerical reports, interpret how the numbers fit together, and create your own reports showing such metrics as sales and profit projections.

Away from work, you must manage your income and pay your bills. This is a mathematical problem you likely solve on a daily basis, ensuring that the money flowing out of your bank account does not exceed the money flowing in. To purchase groceries, vacations, or entertainment, you need numbers.

This chapter gives you a refresher on your basic mathematical skills, which are essential for success in later chapters. Some instructors will review this chapter with you, while others will leave it up to you to complete this chapter independently. Either way, this chapter is important and should be used to test your basic abilities. For example, it would be unfortunate if you got a leasing calculation wrong because you made an error by breaking an order of operation rule, even though you understood basic leasing concepts.

Approach this chapter with confidence and, if you encounter any difficulties, ensure that you master the concepts before moving on to future chapters.


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Fundamentals of Business Math Copyright © 2021 by Ana Duff, adapted from work by J. Olivier and D. Lippman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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