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Mathematics LibreTexts

1.1: Prelude to Prerequisites


Figure 1: Credit: Andreas Kambanls

It’s a cold day in Antarctica. In fact, it’s always a cold day in Antarctica. Earth’s southernmost continent, Antarctica experiences the coldest, driest, and windiest conditions known. The coldest temperature ever recorded, over one hundred degrees below zero on the Celsius scale, was recorded by remote satellite. It is no surprise then, that no native human population can survive the harsh conditions. Only explorers and scientists brave the environment for any length of time.

Measuring and recording the characteristics of weather conditions in in Antarctica requires a use of different kinds of numbers. Calculating with them and using them to make predictions requires an understanding of relationships among numbers. In this chapter, we will review sets of numbers and properties of operations used to manipulate numbers. This understanding will serve as prerequisite knowledge throughout our study of algebra and trigonometry.


  • Lynn Marecek (Santa Ana College) and MaryAnne Anthony-Smith (formerly of Santa Ana College). This content produced by OpenStax and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license.