Simple Math Equation Has Internet… Wait, what?

As turns out, the easiest way to divide the office is with a seemingly simple maths equation.

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Just one moment.

One particular equation stumped the The Epoch Times office. It’s safe to say we were left frustrated.

It has all the bits of a quality BODMAS problem, but what is the definitive answer to 15 – 1 (12 ÷ 4 + 1)?

There are two predominant methods of solving simple equations. PEDMAS (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) and BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction). The answer you get will rely heavily upon which method you were taught.

Three answers seem to be circulating in people’s responses: 18, 11 and 56.

I, a staggeringly unqualified maths guru, am here to tell you what the answer is once and for all – it’s 11.

Let me walk you through it. We’ll use the BODMAS method for this equation.

We need to sort out the brackets first, as per the method. Inside the brackets, we need to do 12/4 first, which equals 3, before adding the 1, which equals 4.

It becomes much simpler after that: we’re left with 15 – 1(4). Since we’ve sorted the inside of the brackets, we must multiply the number on the outside with the contents of the inside of the bracket – this leaves us with 15 – 4. Of course, this equals 11.

While I may not be an authority on the world of maths, I can promise you this is correct.

It’s reminiscent of a past equation that boggled the Twittersphere earlier this year. The storm erupted after @pjmdolI posted what appeared to be an innocuous equation – but people couldn’t agree.

The posed equation is: 8/2(2+2) = ?

Again, people couldn’t seem to agree, with some users saying 16, and others saying 1.

However, according to Twitter user @bstpeach, the problem is written in a way designed to stir confusion.

Check out their tweet:

Another day, another equation, another reason to fucking hate maths.