Here are some ideas that should help:

- Use "
`^`

" to represent superscripts, as in "`x^2`

" for "*x*squared", and "`x^(1/2)`

" for "the square root of*x*". Use parentheses to avoid confusion about what belongs in the power. E.g., "`x^(2x)+1`

" rather than " " since this could be read incorrectly as either "`x^2x + 1`

" or "`(x^2)x + 1`

".`x^(2x+1)`

- Use "
`_`

" to represent subscripts, as in "`x_i`

" for "*x*sub*i*". Use parentheses as above to make more complicated subscripts clear. - Use spaces around low-precedence operators like addition,
subtraction and equals, but not around multiplication and division, as in
"
" rather than "`2x^2 + 3 = -1`

`2x^2+3=-1`

" - Use parentheses to make the numerator and denominator clear when you
write fractions using "
`/`

", as in "`(x+1)/(2x-3)`

", not "`x+1/2x-3`

" since this could be read as " " or any of a number of other ways.`x + (1/2)x - 3`

- For long equations, set them off from the rest of the mail by blank
lines and indentation. For example:
I can't figure out how to factor the equation x^3 - 2x^2 + 1 = 0 Can you give me any advice?

- Use spaces, not tabs, of you are forming a multi-line equation (like a
large fraction or a series of equalities). E.g.
1 f(x) = ------- 1 - x -1 so f'(x) = ------- (1-x)^2

- We need a notation for integrals. One suggestion is to use a dollar
sign "
`$`

" for the integral sign, and use superscript and subscript symbols to give the limits. E.g., " " for "the integral from 0 to 1 of`$_0^1 x dx`

*x*(with respect to*x*)". This isn't great, but it works.Another possibility would be to use "

`I`

" or "`Int`

" instead. For example: for "the integral from 0 to infinity of 1 over`Int_0^Infinity (1/x^2) dx`

*x*squared*dx*".There is no standard for this, so we will try it out and see what we like best.

- We need a notation for limits. I suggest the following:
for "the limit as`lim_(x -> infinity) e^x`

*x*goes to infinity of*e*to the*x*". - In general, use spaces and parentheses liberally to make your meaning as clear as possible.

Comments to: dpvc@union.edu

Created: Dec 30 1998 --- Last modified: Dec 30, 1998 5:38:21 PM