Perspicuous display of exponential notation
making understanding easier

4.56 × 102
102×4.56

The standard typography of exponential notation is poor visual display of quantitative information. The important parts are the smallest. This impairs education. On the web, we can flexibly provide better formats (in addition to the standard).

Intro

Consider exponential notation from the perspective of the visual display of quantitative information.

4.56 × 102

Ink spent on repetitive boilerplate, has the lowest information value.

So which parts are the important parts?

2
4
.56
 × 10

So let's represent that importance typographically.

4 .56  × 10 2

Ha, no. The opposite. Importance should be prominent.

4.56×102

And ordered by importance,

102×4.56

Impact

This is what expert eyes do automagically.

Or not. How many times have med school students seen cellular sizes given in exponential notation? And how many can now recall how big cells are, to within an order of magnitude or two?

For non-expert eyes, perhaps the occasional use of a less obscuring and misleading typography, could help make science education content less of a disaster.

A placeholder {stub page}.

Related topics

Rough-quantitative... active learning?
Rough-quantitative reasoning might provide a medium for collaborative inquiry and non-toy analysis, and thus for misunderstanding pruning and play. This would require uncrippling estimation best practice, K-graduate. And creating rough-quantitative descriptive content.
An illustration of place-value significance.
Or why the value of pi is 3.

Doables

Units.

Demo flexible policy-based rewriting. Library and jquery plugin. Demo popups with alternate representations. Add fake landscapes & landmarks graphic. torque screwdriver; kg cat. Discuss layouts and policies.

Link "students give numbers without units" literature. Link/discuss exponential notation misconceptions.

Multiple examples. Restore the incremental improvement, or fade-out, intro examples? Flowing into popup and landscapes. Deal with quantities? Invide discussion and alternatives.

Page history

2013-04
Online.
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