I am currently teaching a GED math class. While learning about the order of operations, the students asked why does a number next to a parentheses mean multiplication?
I understand the rule that two terms next to each mean multiply those two terms together, regardless as to what those terms look like. But did this notation that we now all understand come from shorthand? Or was it easier to read? Or is there some other reason entirely?
Any insight that you can provide will be appreciated. I would get very angry with teachers in my life who explained things by saying, because that is the way it is. If this is the case, then I at least want to be able to tell them that honestly.