Re: Calling all math whizzes

Subject: Re: Calling all math whizzes
From: Sandy Harris <sandyinchina -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:26:29 -0400

Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> I've never seen this nomenclature before: 2^80
>
> Does this mean 2 to the 80th power?

Yes.

> Is there a better way to express it, such as eliminating the carat and
> superscripting the 80?

That's another way. Whether it is better depends on context and audience.

> The target audience is IT folks running data centers and other web geeks. I
> don't think anyone can assume that each has a higher mathematics degree.

I think you can assume they'll understand 2^80. That is common usage
in geek email where superscripting is not an option.

I think there is at least one programming language that indicates the
operation that way, but do not currently recall which. Old Fortran
programmers might write 2**80, LISP folks (expt 2 80) and so on.

Most C/C++/C# programmers would recognise 2^80 as indicating
exponentiation in most contexts, but in some situations you'd
need a bit of care because ^ represents exclusive OR in C and
an ambiguity might appear.

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References:
Calling all math whizzes: From: Chris Morton

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