# The Four Branches of Mathematical Study

Number

The ability to work with numbers is an essential skill in mathematics and our number system is a language for describing and exploring quantities and the relationships between quantities. Numbers are used to interpret information, make decisions and solve problems. The expression of patterns and description of real‑life situations, via the use of numbers, goes back to humankind’s earliest beginnings, and illustrates the multicultural roots of mathematics.

Algebra

Algebra is an abstraction of the concepts first used when dealing with number and is fundamental in the continued learning of mathematics. Algebra uses letters and symbols to represent number, quantity and operations, and employs variables to solve mathematical problems. To identify and describe patterns algebraically is the foremost of skills we require to understand how mathematics applies to the world in which we live.

Geometry and Trigonometry

The regions, paths and boundaries of natural space can be described by shape. An understanding of the interrelationships of shape allows interpretation, understanding and appreciation of the two-dimensional and three-dimensional world. The study of geometry and trigonometry enhances spatial awareness and provides tools for analysing, measuring and transforming geometric quantities in both dimensions.

Statistics and Probability

Statistics allow us to make a summary of what is known about the world and to make inferences about what is not known. It is concerned with the collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative data and uses the theory of probability to estimate parameters, test hypotheses and predict the occurrence of events.