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This page presents a way to memorize mathematical formulas. It is important that you are familiar with the phonetic mnemonic system and the alphabet peg system in order to fully benefit from this information.

Memorizing mathematical symbols

This technique involves learning some imagery that is associated with mathematical symbols. The following table presents ideas for some common symbols. You don’t have to use the images in the following table if there are others that are better for you. You can also create images for symbols you need that aren’t in the following table.

Mathematical Symbol Image
+ (add) Nurse (with a red cross on her hat)
– (subtract) submarine
X (multiply or times) Newspaper (like the New York Times)
/ (divide) slide
√ (square root) tree root
π (pi) A pie (the kind you eat)
∫ (integral) Violin (violins have integral shaped cutouts on each side)
Σ (sum) Summer
= (equals) Sandwich (two parallel slices of bread)
( (open bracket) Imagine a flower opening (since flowers generally don’t close)
) (close bracket) Mousetrap (since mouse traps are designed to close)

Memorizing formulas

Here are some examples of common formulas and suggested memory mnemonic. The mnemonics presented here use a combination of the alphabet peg system for remembering letters, the phonetic mnemonic system for remembering numbers and the images from the above table for remembering the mathematical symbols. If you want, you can also use the numbers from the numeric peg system for remembering numbers.

volume of a sphere v = 4/3 π r3 Sphere sandwich hair slide yam pie oar cube
Fahrenheit to Celsius c = 5/9 (f-32) (where f is temperature in Fahrenheit) Sea sandwich hill slide hoop opening-flower fig submarine moon mousetrap
∫ sin x dx -cos x + C Violin stop-sign sandwich submarine coast nurse sea (where stop-sign = sin and coast = cos)

Related Pages

How To Memorize Formulas
How to Remember Names and Faces