Before working with definite integrals and infinite series, you need to understand sigma notation. Sigma notation is just a compact way to write sums, i.e. adding a sequence of numbers or terms.
A term using sigma notation is called a sum, summation or series.
For example, if we have \( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 \), we can write this as \(\displaystyle{ \sum_{i=1}^{5}{i} }\). Let's look at each part of this notation.
1. First, \(\sum\) just means to add. This is the uppercase Greek letter sigma.
2. The letter i is called the index. It is usually an integer. You will also see other variables used here like n or k.
3. The assignment \(i=1\) under the sigma gives you the starting value of the index and the index letter.
4. The number above the sigma tells you the ending value of the index. We don't need to repeat 'i=' here. The index is incremented by 1 until it reaches in the ending value. It includes the ending value. For infinite series, you will find \(\infty\) above the sigma.
5. In this sum, we just have i, so we iterate over the index and add up the results.
In general, we add up more interesting things than just integers. So you will sometimes see the notation \(\displaystyle{ \sum_{i=1}^{n}{a_i} }\) where \(a_i\) is some term involving the index i.
Before we go on, let's watch a video. This is a good overview of sigma notation. In this video, he starts by explaining the general notation and then he works several examples.
video by PatrickJMT 

Instructions  Unless otherwise instructed, evaluate these sums. Give your answers in exact form.
Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{ \sum_{n=1}^{5}{ (2n+3) } }\)
Solution 

video by The Organic Chemistry Tutor 

close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{ \sum_{n=1}^{6}{ n^2 } }\)
Solution 

video by The Organic Chemistry Tutor 

close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{ \sum_{k=0}^{4}{ \frac{1}{k^2+1} } }\)
Final Answer 

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{ \sum_{k=0}^{4}{ \frac{1}{k^2+1} } }\)
Solution 

A minute or two into this video he realizes that he didn't write down one of the terms and he posts a note about it. Even though the final answer in the video is incorrect, his procedure is good to watch.
video by The Organic Chemistry Tutor 

Final Answer 

158/85 
close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{ \sum_{n=1}^{3}{ 2^n } }\)
Solution 

video by The Organic Chemistry Tutor 

close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{\sum_{k=1}^{6}{\frac{1}{k^2}}}\)
Solution 

video by Krista King Math 

close solution

Problem Statement 

Write\(\displaystyle{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{4}+\frac{1}{8}+}\) \(\displaystyle{\frac{1}{16}+\frac{1}{32}+\frac{1}{64}}\) in summation notation.
Solution 

video by Krista King Math 

close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{\sum_{r=1}^{8}{(r1)(r+2)}}\)
Solution 

video by Krista King Math 

close solution

Problem Statement 

\(\displaystyle{\sum_{i=1}^{4}{(1)^i i^2}}\)
Solution 

video by PatrickJMT 

close solution

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