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.
Kim Fath Saint Xavier University firstname.lastname@example.org Student Success Program Learning Assistance Services