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MathML Basic Elements

MathML (Mathematical Markup Language), similar to HTML which is used to encode the structure and content of a webapge, is an XML dialect for encoding mathematical expressions on a webapge. MathML most basic elements are <mn>, <mi> and <mo>.

mn Use this element to specify a numeric literal.

mi Use this element to specify an identifier, for example the name of a variable.

mo Use this element to specify an operator, for example +, -, =. Brackets are also considered operators.

Examples:

y + 4 = 5
<math>
  <mi>y</mi>
  <mo>+</mo>
  <mn>4</mn>
  <mo>=</mo>
  <mn>5</mn>
</math>

Most basic math expressions can be rendered with these three elements.

2 x - 14 + 3 ( x + 2 ) = -4
<math>
   <mn>2</mn>
   <mi>x</mi>
   <mo>-</mo>
   <mn>14</mn>
   <mo>+</mo>

   <mn>3</mn>
   <mo>(</mo>
   <mi>x</mi>
   <mo>+</mo>
   <mn>2</mn>
   <mo>)</mo>

   <mo>=</mo>
   <mn>-4</mn>
</math>

Note that the mo operator is used to place parentheses.

6 ( 2 x + 2 - 4 ( 4 x - 2 ) )
<math>
   <mn>6</mn>
   <mo>(</mo>
     <mn>2</mn>
     <mi>x</mi>
     <mo>+</mo>
     <mn>2</mn>
     <mo>-</mo>
       <mn>4</mn>
       <mo>(</mo>

      <mn>4</mn>
      <mi>x</mi>
      <mo>-</mo>
      <mn>2</mn>
      <mo>)</mo>
   <mo>)</mo>
</math>

The example above uses nested parentheses, a set of parentheses inside another set. Of course, to evaluate nested parentheses, start by evaluating the inner set of and then work your way outward.


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