# Operators and functions

(Excerpt from "The MathML Handbook" by Pavi Sandhu)

The majority of content elements are empty elements that represent specific operators or functions. They are organized into groups named after specific subfields of mathematics, as shown below:

- Arithmetic, algebra, and logic
- Relations
- Elementary functions
- Calculus
- Linear algebra
- Theory of sets
- Sequences and series
- Statistics

In MathML, there is no distinction between operators, functions, and relations because, viewed in an abstract sense, an operator or relation is just a special type of function. For example, the operator + can be thought of as a function that maps pairs of real numbers to real numbers. Similarly, you can think of the relation x < y as a Boolean function that maps pairs of real numbers to the logical values True or False. However, operators and functions are grouped in separate categories in the MathML DTD for the purposes of convenience and consistency with historical usage.

The rest of this section contains examples of selected elements from each category to illustrate how they are used.

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