Texas College Mathematics Journal

Volume 6, Number 1, Pages 1─17



Problems with Rational Exponents in Elementary Mathematics


Terutake Abe and Firooz Khosraviyani


2000 MSC: 97D70, 97C90, 00A99.


Key words: Rational exponent, rational power, fractional power, power functions, root functions, set-valued power functions, set-valued root functions, order of operations, misconceptions.


Abstract: The concept and definitions of the common power notation used in elementary mathematics will be discussed with a focus on formalizing an introductory definition and avoiding misconceptions by students and teachers alike.


Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX 78041


Email addresses: tabe@tamiu.edu and FiroozKh@TAMIU.edu