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Topic: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Replies: 26   Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 7:51 PM

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Alain Schremmer

Posts: 864
Registered: 10/10/05
Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Posted: Nov 18, 2012 7:51 PM
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On Nov 18, 2012, at 10:57 AM, Matthews, George wrote:

> Not mentioned in previous responses to the question is the rationale
> for the conventional order of operations:
> Exponents (powers) before Products (or divisions) before Sums (or
> subtractions), in the absence of parentheses (grouping symbols),
> is convenience in writing polynomials.
> ax^p+bx^q+..., where x is a free variable, is much easier to read than
> (a(x^p))+(b(x^q))+...


I agree. The problem, though, is that the syntax for writing powers is
usually dealt with way before polynomials are dealt with. But, indeed,
there is really no reason for separating the two. After all, if we
evaluate a Laurent polynomial whose coefficients are single digits for
x <--- 10, then we get the decimal numbers with those digits.

> Those familiar with APL notation or Excel formulas are surely aware
> of these issues.
>
> That said, this forum should be open to any mathematical,
> pedagogical question without judgment about motives or intelligence.


Particularly when the question is very far from being trivial.

> Just my two cents.

Ditto

Regards
--schremmer
> ________________________________________
> From: owner-mathedcc@mathforum.org [owner-mathedcc@mathforum.org] on
> behalf of EddieC [info@kopworld.net]
> Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 6:28 AM
> To: mathedcc@mathforum.org
> Subject: Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
>
> You're a teacher & you had to post this question?
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Date Subject Author
10/18/12
Read Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Phil Mahler
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
John Peterson
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Guy Brandenburg
10/18/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Wayne Mackey
10/18/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Phil Mahler
10/18/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
RotmanJ
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Paul Hertzel
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Phil Mahler
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Clyde Greeno
10/19/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Clyde Greeno
10/19/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer
10/19/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Wayne Mackey
10/19/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer
10/19/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Clyde Greeno
10/19/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer
10/21/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Wayne Mackey
11/14/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Beth Hentges
11/15/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Clyde Greeno
11/16/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer
10/18/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Collinge, Peter (Mathematics)
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Guy Brandenburg
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Phil Mahler
10/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer
11/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
EddieC
11/18/12
Read RE: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Matthews, George
11/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Phil Mahler
11/18/12
Read Re: Please remind me why -3^2 = -9
Alain Schremmer

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