What is 6÷2(1+2) = ? This problem went viral and generated millions of comments on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and social media sites. I explain how to get the correct answer by using the modern interpretation of the order of operations. I also explain how you would get a different answer under historical usage of the division symbol.

*I get many, many emails about this problem. Before you send an email, check out my blog post or in the links provided below which address every concern I have received so far. If you write to me about this be advised I probably will not respond.

Blog (text explanation): http://wp.me/p6aMk-4OV

Slate explains the history of the division symbol

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/03/facebook_math_problem_why_pemdas_doesn_t_always_give_a_clear_answer.html

Here is a 1917 article from "The American Mathematical Monthly" that explains the usage of the division symbol as an exception to the order of operations

http://www.jstor.org/stable/2972726?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Google evaluation

https://www.google.com/#q=6%C3%B72(1%2B2)

WolframAlpha evaluation

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=6%C3%B72(1%2B2)

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6÷2(1+2)=? correctly explained.

I explain the wrong answer, the correct answer obtained the wrong way and the correct answer obtained the correct way. Enjoy!

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