This post will provide insights into some basic algebraic concepts. Such information is actually useful for people who are doing research but may not have the foundational mathematical experience.

**Multiple**

A multiple is a product of *n * and a counting number of *n.* In the preceding sentence, we actually have two unknown values which are.

The *n * can be any value, while the counting number usually starts at 1 and continues by increasing by 1 each time until you want it to stop. This is how this would look if we used the term *n, ** counting number,* and *multiple of n*.* *

*n * **counting number = multiple of n*

For example, if we say that *n *= 2 and the counting numbers are 1,2,3,4,5. We get the following multiples of 2.

You can see that the *n *never changes and remains constant as the value 2. The counting number starts at 1 and increases each time. Lastly, the multiple is the product of n and the counting number.

Let’s take one example from above

2 * 3 = 6

Here are some conclusions we can make from this simple equation

- 6 is a multiple of 2. In other words, if I multiply 2 by a certain counting number I can get the whole number of 6.
- 6 is divisible by 2. This means that if I divide 2 into six I will get a whole number counting number which in this case is 3.

**Divisibility Rules**

There are also several divisibility rules in math. They can be used as shortcuts to determine if a number is divisible by another without having to do any calculation.

A number is divisible by

- 2 when the last digit of the number 0, 2, 4, 6, 8
- 3 when the sum of the digits is divisible by 3
- Example 27 is divisible by 3 because 2 + 7 = 9 and 9 is divisible by 3

- 5 when the number’s last digit is 0 or 5
- 6 when the number is divisible by 2 and 3
- Example 24 is divisible by 6 because it is divisible by 2 because the last digit is for and it is divisible by 3 because 2 + 4 = 6 and six is divisible by 3

- 10 when the number ends with 0

**Factors**

Factors are two or more numbers that when multiplied produce a number. For example

The numbers 7 and 6 are factors of 42. In other words, 7 and 6 are divisible by 42. A number that has only itself and one as factors is known as a prime number. Examples include 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13. A number that has many factors is called a composite number and includes such examples as 4, 8, 10, 12, 14.

An important concept in basic algebra is understanding how to find the prime numbers of a composite number. This is known as prime factorization and is done through the development of a factor tree. A factor tree breaks down a composite number into the various factors of it. These factors are further broken down into their factors until you reach the bottom of a tree that only contains prime numbers. Below is an example

You can see in the tree above that the prime factors of 12 are 2 and 3. If we take all of the prime factors and multiply them together we will get the answer 12.

**Conclusion**

Understanding these basic terms can only help someone who maybe jumped straight into statistics in grad school without have the prior thorough experience in basic algebra.

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