Summation Notation in Mathematics: A Clear and Concise Explanation

Summation Notation in Mathematics

To find the sum of the series solution of any number we used summation notation. Sigma notation is another name for summation notation. Summation notation provides a convenient and concise way to express the multiplication and addition terms without writing them all complicated. Summation notation is widely used in various branches of mathematics, and statistics, including calculus and discrete mathematics.

To perform calculations more efficiently summation notation allows us to solve series type. It also provides a compact way to represent mathematical patterns and relationships. By understanding summation notation, mathematicians and scientists can express complex sums concisely, making it a powerful tool in mathematical analysis and problem-solving.

In this article, we have discussed the symbol of summation notation, the way of expanding summation notation, and summation notation application. Also, with the help of example summation notation will be explained.

Summation notation in Mathematics

In mathematics, the Greek letter “sigma” written as “” represent the summation notation. The word “sigma” is used to refer to this symbol. This notation is employed to represent the sum of a series of terms or numbers. When you encounter the “” symbol, it indicates that you need to add up a sequence of values according to a given pattern or range.

How to expand summation notation?

Expanding summation notation involves writing out the individual terms of the series or sequence being summed. The process allows you to see the pattern clearly and helps in further analysis or evaluation. To expand summation notation, follow these steps:

Step 1: summation notation understands

Make sure you understand the given summation notation. It should include the expression to be summed, the index variable (often denoted by “i”) along with its starting and ending values, and the context of the problem.

Step 2: Identify the Range

Identify the range of the index variable “i” specified in the summation notation. The range is determined by the starting and ending values of “i”.

Step 3: Write Out the Terms

Write out the expression to be summed for each value of the index variable within the given range. Replace the index variable "i" with the specific value it takes on within the range.

Step 4: Group the Terms (if applicable)

If the terms have common factors or patterns, you can group them to simplify the expression.

Step 5: Evaluate the Sum (optional)

If the expression has a closed form or can be further simplified, you may choose to evaluate the sum.

You can use a summation calculator with steps to expand summation notation according to the above described steps.

Summation notation: Application

Some application of sum notation is given below.

·         Calculus: In calculus, summation notation is commonly used to represent Riemann sums, which are essential for defining and understanding integrals. It allows mathematicians to approximate the area under a curve by summing the areas of rectangles or other shapes.

·         Sequences and Series: To represent the arithmetic and geometric series, as well as another type of series summation notation provides a tool to represent them. It helps in determining the convergence or divergence of series and finding closed-form expressions for their sums.

·         Discrete Mathematics: Summation notation is widely used in discrete mathematics to represent combinatorial sums, binomial coefficients, and other discrete structures. It helps in counting and analyzing the number of possible outcomes or arrangements in various combinatorial problems.

·         Probability and Statistics: Summation notation is employed in probability and statistics to denote the number of uncertain variables or probabilities. It is essential for calculating expected values, variances, and other statistical measures.

·         Physics and Engineering: In physics and engineering, summation notation is often employed to represent the discrete summing of forces, moments, voltages, currents, and other physical quantities. It simplifies the expression of complex formulas involving the summation of multiple terms.

·         Computer Science and Algorithms: Summation notation is used in algorithm analysis to represent the complexity of algorithms in terms of the size of input data.

·         Finance and Economics: In finance and economics, summation notation is used to represent the present value and future value of cash flows in time value of money calculations. It is also used in various mathematical models for financial and economic analysis.

·         Signal Processing: In signal processing, summation notation is employed to represent the sum of discrete samples in time-domain or frequency-domain signal analysis.

·         Data Analysis: Summation notation is useful in data analysis to calculate sums, averages, and other statistical measures for a given dataset.

How to evaluate the problems of summation notation?

Example 1:

we have the summation notation:

 4i=1(2i + 1)                      


Step 1:

First, we understand summation notation. Here, the expression “2i + 1” and the value of “i” start from 1 to 4.

Step 2:

identify the range here, the range is 1 to 4.

Step 3:

Putt the range value one by one.

When i = 1:  2 × 1 + 1 = 3

When i = 2: 2 × 2 + 1 = 5

When i = 3: 2 × 3 + 1 = 7

When i = 4: 2 × 4 + 1 = 9

Step 4:

add all answer vale

Sum = 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 = 24

So, the expanded form of ∑4i=1(2i + 1) =24

Example 2

Consider first 5 whole number.

Find summation.



The first five whole numbers in the series are as follows:


Step 1:

For finding the sum write all given whole number terms with addition sign.

f(x)=0 +1+2+3+4+5

Step 2:

Simplify the given term.

f(x)=0 +1+2+3+4+5 = 15


Question 1: What does the index variable represent in summation notation?


The position of the items in the series being summed is represented by the index variable (typically marked by a letter such as "i" or "k"). It accepts values within a given range, which specifies which terms are added.

Question 2: What is the purpose of using summation notation?


Summation notation is used to represent and work with series, sequences, and patterns concisely and systematically. Summation notation is used to simplify complex calculations, facilitates analysis of mathematical structures, and allows us to compact representation in mathematics.

Question 3: What is the benefit of using summation notation over writing out the terms explicitly?


Summation notation provides a more concise and elegant way to represent series and mathematical patterns. Complex expressions are simplified, which makes them easier to understand and work with. Furthermore, it enables mathematicians to state mathematical relationships more compactly and effectively.


In this article, we have discussed the symbol of summation notation, the way of expanding summation notation, and summation notation application. Also, with the help of example summation notation will be explained. After studying this article anyone can defend the summation notation topic easily. 
Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post

Distributed Knowledge with Love by
Visit Earning Careers for more details.