College Math Teaching

April 15, 2014

Excel’s weird way of dealing with powers

Filed under: pedagogy — Tags: — collegemathteaching @ 6:47 pm

I noticed something a bit weird about how Excel handles powers. For example, the expression e^{\frac{-(x+1)^2}{8}} isn’t ambiguous at all. But in Excel, you get something every different if you enter EXP(-(a2+1)^2/8) or if you enter EXP(-((a2+1)^2/8). Evidently, EXP(-(a2+1)^2/8) is read as EXP((-(a2+1))^2/8) which strikes me as strange.



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