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# what is meaning of ^ symbol in math?

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#6
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:51 AM

The ^ symbol represent the logical

**conjunction**, or more simply the logical "and".

Having ^ represent the exponential is not a mathematical convention, it is a

*text formatting shortcut*, probably started by latex. In latex, when you want to superscript something, you use "^{blah}", and "_{blah}" to underscript. But "^" does NOT represent the exponential in mathematical language.

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#7
Senior Moderators - Reputation: **1788**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:52 PM

Quote:

Original post by Steadtler

The ^ symbol represent the logicalconjunction, or more simply the logical "and".

Don't confuse the wedge (which this forum apparently doesn't like) with the caret (^). The use of the latter to represent exponentiation goes back to ALGOL.

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#8
Members - Reputation: **794**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:03 PM

Quote:

Original post by Steadtler

Guys, I am not proud of you today! the ^ symbol has nothing to do with the exponential in mathematics.

It can mean that, in some contexts.

Quote:

Original post by Steadtler

The ^ symbol represent the logicalconjunctionexclusive disjunction, or more simply the logical~~"and"~~"xor".

Fixed.

Depending on the context, it can mean any of the things mentioned.

http://www.roboguy.net(WIP) - lisperati - SICP - Haskell - Python - OCaml - Lambda the Ultimate - Good Math, Bad Math - Wiki (not Wikipedia) - Pure - Term-Rewriting Functional Language

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#9
Members - Reputation: **104**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:05 PM

Quote:Actually ^ does have to do with exponents and math.

Original post by Steadtler

Guys, I am not proud of you today! the ^ symbol has nothing to do with the exponential in mathematics... But "^" does NOT represent the exponential in mathematical language.

For instance, when you're first taught exponents in school, they wont use the superscript method - they'll use ^. Kind of like how they use the x for multiplication until you start using a dot. ^ is a very valid and widely accepted means to denote exponent.

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#10
Members - Reputation: **881**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:09 PM

Quote:

Original post by Kimani

For instance, when you're first taught exponents in school, they wont use the superscript method - they'll use ^. Kind of like how they use the x for multiplication until you start using a dot. ^ is a very valid and widely accepted means to denote exponent.

Maybe.

Teaching style varies just as much as notation does. That is: A lot.

There is no single answer to this. As Roboguy said, it depends on context.

John B

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#11
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:25 PM

And dont be tricked, while it means XOR in some programming languages, the actual math symbol for XOR is "ˇ". Because you know, most keyboards cannot conveniently type a "ˇ", and even then, its not very readable. The mathematical symbol for XOR dont seem to be in the ascii table so I cant type it. It normally is a circle with a straith cross inside.

[Edited by - Steadtler on June 5, 2007 1:25:17 PM]

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#12
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:31 PM

Quote:

Original post by Kimani

Actually ^ does have to do with exponents and math.

For instance, when you're first taught exponents in school, they wont use the superscript method - they'll use ^. Kind of like how they use the x for multiplication until you start using a dot. ^ is a very valid and widely accepted means to denote exponent.

Yeah, grade school teachers sucks at math. I had my head of department try to explain a bunch of them (actually they were high school) the difference between convex and concave - a painful hour according to him.

They use "*" for multiplication because thats whats on calculators. They wouldnt know that the star means a convolution because 99% of them dont know what a convolution is. And it woudlnt serve the kids because the dot is not on calculators. Its a case of leveling by the bottom...

Best forget most of the math you learned before college when you get there, it'll help you out.

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#14
Senior Moderators - Reputation: **1788**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:45 PM

Quote:

Original post by Steadtler

Those are all programming syntax taken from different languages. Think as you wish, but if you were to write a science paper, and used ^ for anything else than logical conjunction in an equation, I would expect any serious publication to reject it.

If you were to write a science paper, and used ^ for exponentiation, I would expect any serious publication to consider it a typo. If you were to write a science paper, and used ^ for conjunction, I would expect any serious publication to consider it a typo.

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#15
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:48 PM

Quote:

Original post by instinKt

A friend of mine was told there was no such thing as negative numbers.

School rocks!

Well, in the set of positive integer, there is no such thing :). In the set of positive real too! And in the set or positive rational...

number is such a loose word!

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#16
Crossbones+ - Reputation: **5832**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:34 PM

cross product (most texts use X though)

set intersection (normally bigger wigwam though)

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#17
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:46 PM

Quote:

Original post by Sneftel

If you were to write a science paper, and used ^ for exponentiation, I would expect any serious publication to consider it a typo. If you were to write a science paper, and used ^ for conjunction, I would expect any serious publication to consider it a typo.

I did publish several science papers, but I never needed to use the conjunction symbol in my equations (I think), so I admit I dont know first hand. Why would they consider it a typo when it is the only correct mathematical symbol for conjunction? Im curious to what you use for conjunction if not it.

I cannot believe reading you guys, math is supposed to be the least ambiguous thing out there. The OP asked for the meaning of ^ in math, and I stand that it is the conjunction, and not any of the other meanings mentionned here.

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#18
Senior Moderators - Reputation: **1788**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:53 PM

Quote:

Original post by Steadtler

I did publish several science papers, but I never needed to use the conjunction symbol in my equations (I think), so I admit I dont know first hand. Why would they consider it a typo when it is the only correct mathematical symbol for conjunction? Im curious to what you use for conjunction if not it.

It's pissing me off because I can't seem to post the symbol here. Look here, and search the page for "∧" (without the quotes). It looks like the caret, but it's larger, lower, and more acute.

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#19
Members - Reputation: **220**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:26 PM

Quote:

Original post by SneftelQuote:

Original post by Steadtler

I did publish several science papers, but I never needed to use the conjunction symbol in my equations (I think), so I admit I dont know first hand. Why would they consider it a typo when it is the only correct mathematical symbol for conjunction? Im curious to what you use for conjunction if not it.

It's pissing me off because I can't seem to post the symbol here. Look here, and search the page for "∧" (without the quotes). It looks like the caret, but it's larger, lower, and more acute.

I see the symbol here, maybe its your language set. Anyway, the *only* similar math symbol to both those characters is still the conjunction symbol.

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#20
Senior Moderators - Reputation: **1788**

Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:08 PM

Quote:Yeh, now I see it on one of my computers but not the other.

Original post by Steadtler

I see the symbol here, maybe its your language set.

Quote:

Anyway, the *only* similar math symbol to both those characters is still the conjunction symbol.

Not true. In articles written in the days before TeX, and even these days in text-based circumstances, it's quite common to see ^ used for exponentiation. I've got some old Blinn papers in my filing cabinet at work that I'm almost certain use ^ in that way. It may be something which is specific to computer science literature.