## Math Basics## Basic Mathematical Operations |

## What is division? |

The word divide comes from the Latin root *vidua* (referring to a separation; the word “divide” shares its major root with the word “widow”) and *di,* a prefix that is a contrac tion of *dis,* meaning “apart” or “away.” In division, the number being divided is called the *dividend,* while the number dividing is called the *divisor.* The end result is called the *quotient.* For example, in 20/5 = 4, 20 is the dividend, 5 the divisor, and 4 the quotient.

Division in mathematics is a relatively new concept for the masses; it was only taught at university levels after the 16th century. The first to offer division to the public was German mathematician Adam Ries (1492-1559; also seen as Risz, Riesz, Riese, or Ris) in his work *Rechenung nach der lenge, auff den Linihen vnd (sic) Feder,* often shortened to *Practica.* His work reached more people for an important reason: Instead of the usual practice of writing a mathematical book in Latin, he wrote his book in German, thus reaching a wider audience.