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Supporting Australian Mathematics Project: Middle years.

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Year 8

Number and Algebra


Index notation is comparatively modern. The Greek writer Diophantus used the symbol \(\Delta^\text{T}\) to denote what we would call \(x^2\) and used K for \(x^3\). In medieval algebra, Q and C were used instead. Even in the 16th century, people were still writing \(xxx\) for \(x^3\). The modern notation didn't appear in texts until late in the 18th century. It is an extremely useful and efficient notation.