Browse Definitions:
Definition

summation (sum)

A summation, also called a sum, is the result of arithmetically adding numbers or quantities. A summation always contains a whole number of terms. There can be as few as two terms, or as many as a hundred, a thousand, or a million. Some summations contain infinitely many terms.

For short sums, the numbers, or addends, can be written one after another, separated by addition signs (+). An example is 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/3. This becomes awkward when the number of terms is large. When a summation has infinitely many terms, the terms must occur in a definable sequence. This sequence is not always clear when the terms are simply listed and separated by + symbols. For this reason, the summation symbol was devised: a large, uppercase Greek letter sigma.

To denote 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/3, the following symbology can be used:

The expression on the left-hand side of the equation is the summation from n = 1 to n = 3 for 1/ n . The value of n is always an integer. It usually starts at 1 and always increases by 1 for each succeeding term in the summation.

Suppose the above series is extended without limit according to the obvious pattern. Then the summation from n = 1 to unlimited values of n for 1/ n , that is, 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4 + ..., is denoted like this:

The sideways 8 means that n continues to increase without limit. It is imprecise to say we are dealing with the summation from n to infinity, but this terminology is often used anyway.

See our list of Mathematical Symbols .

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

SearchHealthIT

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

  • Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta and all that

    Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta are among the list of prefixes used to denote the quantity of something, such as a byte ...

  • brontobyte

    A brontobyte is a measure of memory or data storage that is equal to 10 to the 27th power of bytes.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

  • NAND mirroring

    NAND mirroring has been proposed to break the security in certain portable devices that use NAND flash memory for encryption.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close