Variables in enclosures

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• #29945
Melissa Klepper
Moderator

Do we need to use the Nemeth switch indicators for the variables in parentheses in the following example? Can you point us to a rule, or a document that clarifies this? We have some division between our transcribers and need clarification. The Nem Guidance says:

a. Freestanding, unmodified numbers and/or letters can be transcribed in
UEB. If a freestanding number or letter is combined with anything other
than an internal comma (e.g., a minus sign, a decimal point, etc.), it is
transcribed according to Nemeth Code.

Are the letters modified by the ()? We have not been using switches for these and need to know if we need to change the way we are doing them. Also, what if a number is in (). Does that make the number modified? Do we need to switch for a number in ()?

EXAMPLE

Select the pair of inequalities that models the possible temperatures in the summer (s) and in the winter (w).

A w > 7

B w < 34

C 5 < w

#29950
kdejute
Moderator
Thank you for the thought-out question. In the example you give and in similar circumstances, the enclosed variable or number does not need to be transcribed in Nemeth Code.
Grouping signs in and of themselves do not "modify" what they enclose. They are often merely punctuation. In other words, a variable or number enclosed in signs of grouping for purposes of the narrative text and not because an operation is being performed is not "combined" with the grouping signs the way the variable or number would be "combined" with a minus sign, a decimal point, etc.
So, you do not need any Nemeth switch indicators for the sentence "Select the pair of inequalities that models the possible temperatures in the summer (s) and in the winter (w)."
Please do let me know if you have follow-up comments or questions.
Cheers!
–Kyle
#29951
Melissa Klepper
Moderator

Thanks so much for the explanation. Can we expound just a little further on this? After recently attending the NBA conference, and reviewing some examples, we found numbers in brackets that were switched.  In Example 11 of Nemeth Within UEB Contexts, solution sets are in brackets.

Example:

... because both have solution set {3}.

So, my understanding is that in this case, the number in enclosures was switched because the enclosures have mathematical meaning.

Then in Example 14, all of the empty enclosures were also switched.

Example:

If the expression contains grouping symbols, such as parentheses ( ), brackets [ ], or a fraction bar, ...

So, these were switched because the text referred to them as mathematical grouping symbols and it would be confusing for the student to see them 2 different ways?

We are just trying to wrap our head around when to switch a number in enclosures and when not to.

Do you have any tips or tricks for helping us distinguish between the two situations?

I am trying to help my whole group understand this and I don't seem to be able to convey it to them in a way that everyone can understand. I don't even know if I understand. LOL

#29952
kdejute
Moderator

Melissa,

Your analyses of the examples you mentioned in your last post are right on target.

Let’s be honest, it is not possible to tell at a glance whether a grouping sign is performing a punctuation role or a mathematical role; context is necessary to determine the sign’s meaning. Once you determine the sign’s meaning, you can decide whether or not to include it in Nemeth switch indicators.

Some circumstances in which grouping signs are performing a mathematical role include:

• solution set
• matrix/determinant
• enclosed list

The most common circumstance (by far) in which grouping signs are performing a punctuation role is:

• parenthetical aside

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. Please keep on doing so!

–Kyle

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

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