Algebra starts with the natural and simple problem of trying to solve an equation containing an unknown number, or `variable'. Here we start with simple examples familiar to public school students. This video belongs to Wildberger's MathFoundations series, which sets out a coherent and logical framework for modern mathematics.The idea is to transform an equation with a variable into a simpler but equivalent equation, which can be more easily solved. We review examples of such manipulations--that go back to Hindu and Arab mathematicians.
Does mathematics make logical sense? No, it does not. Foundational issues have been finessed by modern mathematicians, and this series aims to turn things around. And it will have interesting things to say also about mathematics education---especially at the primary and high school level. The plan is to start right from the beginning, and to define all the really important concepts of basic mathematics without any waffling or appeals to authority. Roughly we discuss first arithmetic, then geometry, then algebra, then analysis, then set theory. This course is aimed for a general audience, interested in mathematics, or willing to learn.