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
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
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