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numbers to the zero power
Posted:
Dec 5, 2002 11:04 AM


Ladnor wrote: "I don't understand the statement below. Defining a number to the 0 power to be 1 is simply a convention that may make operations with numbers a bit more automatic, i.e. one less special case to consider when multiplying and dividing numbers. So should I assume that students are delighted at the idea of increased mental efficiency?"
Let me comment further. The issue isn't "increased mental efficiency" or blandly stating a convention   it's a matter of exposure to an idea which seems counterintutive, to an idea that has not been available to them in their previous 1012 years of math experience, to an idea that engages them in some of the previous internal "mysteries" of math, to an idea that somehow tickles their imagination. I don't approach my classes with mathematical ideologies; rather I approach them with ideas and will navigate the streams they want to explore ... later ... mark
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