Date: May 10, 1995 9:48 AM
Author: KIMBERLY FATH
Subject: positive exponents
Hi! I'm new to the list for the second time and alreasy have a question for

you knowledgeable folks.

I am teaching an introductory algebra class at my institution. Yesterday,

one of my students asked me why we eliminate negative exponents. I gave him

my pitiful explanation (convention, looks neater, makes substituting numerical

values easier, etc.) but said I would look into who came up with this great

idea. I've looked in my books and can't find anything- I'm looking for

something that says "so and so group of people thought this was a good idea"

Any information that any one person can share with me would be appreciated.

Obviously, e-mail me and I will post a summary.

Thanks,

Kim Fath Saint Xavier University

fath@sxu.edu Student Success Program

Learning Assistance Services