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Topic: Leaving 0^0 undefined -- A number-theoretic rationale
Replies: 48   Last Post: Sep 15, 2013 1:06 PM

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 Peter Percival Posts: 2,623 Registered: 10/25/10
Re: Leaving 0^0 undefined -- A number-theoretic rationale
Posted: Sep 12, 2013 11:40 AM

Dan Christensen wrote:
> On Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:17:54 AM UTC-4,
> dull...@sprynet.com wrote:

>> On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:25:54 -0700 (PDT), Dan Christensen
>>
>> <Dan_Christensen@sympatico.ca> wrote:
>>
>>
>>

>>> Is there a more divisive is issue in all of mathematics?
>>
>>
>>
>> Calling this a divisive issue in mathematics is utterly
>>
>> silly. It's not even an issue, much less divisive.
>>

>
> Judging by the lengthy debates in various online forums, I would say
> this is a divisive issue. (For example, the ongoing "Ask A
> Mathematician" thread on this topic starting in December 2010 now has
> 982 postings!)

Ha ha. Are you claiming that an issue (whatever that means, is it
something like a problem?) that is divisive online must be so in
mathematics as well? Why?
>
>>
>>
>> In any given context we use the definition that we
>>
>> want to use in that context. No problem.
>>

>
> What "context" is a computer programmer to use when writing software
> for, say, medical equipment? Should he/she just assume 0^0=1?
> Shockingly, most programming languages seem to automatically make
> this assumption!

I've told you: the programmer should do what the specification says.
Nor is doing mathematics the same as programming computers.

> There is a good case to be made that 0^0 is ambiguous even in the
> natural numbers.

Make it then.

> Therefore, it seems to me that the safest, most
> conservative assumption when programming is that 0^0 should be
> flagged as an error condition. This should be a global standard built
> into every general purpose programming language.

Yet again confusing mathematics with programming.

>
>

--
Sorrow in all lands, and grievous omens.
Great anger in the dragon of the hills,
And silent now the earth's green oracles
That will not speak again of innocence.
David Sutton -- Geomancies