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Re: standard usage of O(x^3) can be confusing

From: Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor <roconnor@uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 15:58:16 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.96.1000411154441.11445A-100000@bacon.math.uwaterloo.ca>
On Tue, 11 Apr 2000, Stan Devitt wrote:

> Regarding Russell O'Connor's  observation that ...
> 
>      "the notation is a little confusing.
> 
> (1)           f(x) = 5x + 6x^2 + O(x^3)
> 
>      really means
> 
> (2)          f(x) - 5x - 6x^2 $isin; O(x^3)
> 
> It is actually the author that chooses to write one versus
> the other, not MathML.

Are you saying that if an application wants to read the argueably
meaningless statement of (1), then it has to figure out that it really
means (2).  I suppose that's fair.

-- 
Russell O'Connor                           roconnor@uwaterloo.ca
       <http://www.undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca/~roconnor/>
``Paradoxically, a refusal to `put a monetary value on life' means that
life is often undervalued.'' -- Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Received on Tuesday, 11 April 2000 15:58:19 GMT

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