I’m taking a business math class that’s pretty basic. One thing, in my math book, I have never seen before. A mixed number that has a decimal and a fraction. For example the number 45.89 1/4 where the 1/4 is supposed to mean 1/4 of 1 hundredth. The actual decimal number supposedly is 45.8925.

So, has anyone else ever seen this before and what is someone doing in the real world to come up with this? Did the math book author make this up? Is it a purely business thing? I looked a little online but couldn’t find anything.

I asked my kid, who is beyond this level in math but at least recently was in school, and he’s never seen it. I asked my husband who is an engineer, he’s never seen it. I also graduated from engineering school and I’ve never seen it.

I would have no idea what “45.89 1/4” was supposed to mean: it could mean 46.14 (45.89 + 1/4) or 11.4725 (45.89 x 1/4). If 45.8925 is meant, that’s two characters shorter (counting the required space as a character).

First, a nitpick, that would (I think) be 1/4 of 1 thousands. .0025 would be 25 one thousandths. Tenths, hundredths, thousandths. If we’re going to talk math, we gotta keep the terminology straight.

As a math major (and at one point a potential physics major) I can say that I never saw that*, but I steered as clear as stats as I could. I only took one stats class so if it gets used there I may have missed it, but I don’t think it does.

Is it used often in the book or just once? Is there, like, a section on it or is it possibly just a type/auto correct?

Is it possible that it’s supposed to be 45.89 divided by 4?

So, just to be clear, what you saw was 45.89[sup]1[/sup]/[sub]4[/sub]

Also, it couldn’t mean 45.8925 since, if anything thing 45.89[sup]1[/sup]/[sub]4[/sub] would translate more closely to 45.89.25 and that doesn’t mean anything useful.
It seems it might be closer to 45.89+.25=46.14 since 1/4 is a quarter of one not a quarter of 1 thousandth.

Just a WAG here: in a business math class, I’d guess that the fraction is supposed to represent a fraction of a cent - e.g. if you have to account for something that adds a quarter of a cent to each transaction, you might represent it that way. I’m not sure why you would, but I can imagine it might be a little more intuitive for people not used to dealing with amounts less than one cent.

This is the weirdest thing I’ve seen all day and I just spent time looking up articles on the North Carolina legislature trying to outlaw the use of real science if real estate developers don’t like the results.

Neither I, a writer, nor my wife, an MBA, have ever seen this done. It is beyond comprehension how it made it into print.

I’ve never seen it before either, but my only suggestion is that this is a “business math” course so we’re dealing with dollars and cents so only the two cents decimal places are “allowed” and this means a quater of a cent.

And BTW the nitpick is wrong it is a quarter of the hundredths place or 25 ten-thousandths.

I’ve seen that before. I think I’ve seen it on stock prices. I think they do it because we only divide dollars into 100 cents. Then you are dealing with fractions of a cent.

I’ve seen it before, over twenty years ago. It was from a very basic math class that the wife of a coworker was taking. He was asking several of us, because he had never heard of that either. It’s meaning was in line with what Joey P wrote. The 1/4 is in the thousandths place, giving 49.89025 in normal notation.

I suspect this is something only ever used in these basic math classes, made up for people who have a hard time grasping decimal numbers. ETA: I hadn’t thought about stock prices being given that way. I can’t recall what place the fraction was in from the case I saw, but I do recall the fraction was 1/2.

Hmmm. If it’s for stocks, and the 1/4 means 1/4 cent, the number would be 49.8925, not the 49.89025 you’d get if the 1/4 is a “digit” in the thousandth place. Zulema, are you certain about the value of your example?

You’re right. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in 3rd grade. You wouldn’t say .25 is 25 tenths. Though .2 is two tenths.

I think I’m confused with this quarter stuff since that seems to sort of, for lack of a better phrase, ‘back everything up’ a bit

.25 is 25 hundredths
.025 is 25 thousandths
.0025 is 25 ten thousandths

.025 is 25 thousandths but mathematically it’s a quarter of a tenth. That is, .1X.25=.025 So does that mean .025=.1/4=25 thousandths=quarter of a tenth?

Man, I haven’t had this much difficulty since Diff Eq.

I’ll take back my nitpick. I’ve never seen fractions in decimals. I mean, I’ve seen fractions with decimals as numerators or denominators, but nothing like this. Feel free to ignore the nitpick…or read it and see if you can learn from my thinking outloud.

Huh, rereading my own post, I’m starting to understand it a bit more (I always get things better when I think out loud like this). I couldn’t figure out where the extra zero kept coming from in some of the other posts but as I was spell checking and otherwise proof reading my post I see it popped up in my .1X.25=.025 example.

I’m thinking we might have two different theories going on here and that’s why some people are slapping the 25 right on the end and some people are changing it to 025. Possibly some people are working with money (25) and some people are some people are doing the arithmetic (025).

Yes, I’m certain. I checked in my book after taking the quiz. Note that my example is 4.8925. I did the practice problems beforehand and while it didn’t make sense to me I understood how to do it. Then I got to the quiz and went brain dead on the questions related to this. Because it didn’t make sense to me I couldn’t figure it out. I ended up taking it as 1/4 thousandths. The math lab moderator said it was 1/4 hundredths but it took her a while to explain why. She had been just tacking the fraction on the end.

It does barely make sense for fractions of cents but it’s in the problems in more places than just after the hundredths. It is the first math class in an accounting program and there are some really basic concepts included.

Well, this sort of teaching would explain Verizon math!

Associate of Science (two-year) Math degree here, including lower-division Statismics and Finite Math. Like most posters above, NEVER saw that notation before. Like most posters above, agree that it’s a non-standard notation (to say the least). Never mind the quibbles about whether that 1/4 contributes 0.0025 or 0.00025 or whatever, since NONE of us really seem to know what it means, and MOST of us don’t even have a clue what it means, or if it means anything at all.

Is this yet another exponential layer of the NEW[sup]New[sup]new[sup]new…[/sup][/sup][/sup] Math that’s been deranging this stately science since… what?.. the 1960’s or so?

I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and I bet you have too: in gas prices, which typically involve fractions of a cent (although the fraction is typically 9/10 rather than 1/4).

In Australia, as you can see in this picture, prices are in cents per litre, so the “123.7” in the picture would be $1.237 per litre of petrol. That makes more sense in terms of normal decimal notation.

We do something sorrrrrrrta like this with measurements of time and coordinates (but in mixed sexagesimal (base 60) and decimal place-value notation, not mixed decimal place-value and common fraction as in the OP’s example).

For instance, you might write a latitude value like

40°26′47.305″ N

where the minutes and seconds values essentially represent base-60 fractions, but the seconds value has a decimal fraction stuck into it as well.