Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Standard DOS Algebra
Name: jason p brechin
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

What is the standard way of writing algebraic functions (square roots, X to the power of, etc.) in standard DOS text?

Operating systems (like DOS) generally do not support any math functions more complex than +, -, *, and /. It's programming languages where you find powers, exponentiation, and roots; and the notation varies from language to language. FORTRAN uses "**" as in x=y**z; C uses a power function as in x=power(y,z). Roots are, of course, just fractional powers, but most languages use "SQRT" for square-root as in x=SQRT(y) because the square-root function is the most commonly used root. The particular case of "e" to a power is usually denoted x=EXP(y). In ASCII text you usually see "**" or "^" to denote powers, as in: x=y**z or x=y^z.


Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory