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 June 22nd, 2017, 05:21 AM #1 Senior Member   Joined: Dec 2012 From: Hong Kong Posts: 853 Thanks: 311 Math Focus: Stochastic processes, statistical inference, data mining, computational linguistics How do you distinguish uppercase and lowercase pi in writing? Might sound like a silly question, but this is the first time I've come across a topic where this distinction is required lol... Usually uppercase pi just means product and lowercase pi just means, well, pi for me.
June 22nd, 2017, 05:32 AM   #2
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 Originally Posted by 123qwerty Might sound like a silly question, but this is the first time I've come across a topic where this distinction is required lol... Usually uppercase pi just means product and lowercase pi just means, well, pi for me.
I don't really know what you mean. The upper case pi is similar in style but taller.

Last edited by Joppy; June 22nd, 2017 at 05:51 AM.

 June 22nd, 2017, 05:43 AM #3 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,972 Thanks: 2222 lowercase: π or $\pi$ is fairly small. uppercase: Π is clearly different from $\pi$, but similar to $\prod$. Thanks from 123qwerty
 June 22nd, 2017, 06:12 AM #4 Senior Member   Joined: Dec 2012 From: Hong Kong Posts: 853 Thanks: 311 Math Focus: Stochastic processes, statistical inference, data mining, computational linguistics So is the height the only factor that can be used to distinguish the uppercase and lowercase pi in handwriting? Considering my handwriting that might be confusing - that's why I asked, as I'm not sure if there's a convention of writing the pis that can makes the difference clearer...
June 22nd, 2017, 06:17 AM   #5
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 Originally Posted by 123qwerty So is the height the only factor that can be used to distinguish the uppercase and lowercase pi in handwriting? Considering my handwriting that might be confusing - that's why I asked, as I'm not sure if there's a convention of writing the pis that can makes the difference clearer...
I usually write the upper case pi to be much taller. Also, when it does indicate the product, you would usually assign some index, similar to summation. That also helps it stand out.

June 22nd, 2017, 06:34 AM   #6
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 Originally Posted by Joppy I usually write the upper case pi to be much taller. Also, when it does indicate the product, you would usually assign some index, similar to summation. That also helps it stand out.
Thanks, I guess I'll just have to train myself to write the uppercase pi taller, then. It's usually not a problem when pi denotes the product (since, as you mentioned, there's a lot of extra stuff), but this time both uppercase pi and lowercase pi can appear alone in certain contexts ($\displaystyle \Pi$ denotes the natural parameter space and $\displaystyle \pi$ denotes a natural parameterisation), which could lead to confusion...

 June 23rd, 2017, 01:28 PM #7 Global Moderator   Joined: May 2007 Posts: 6,823 Thanks: 723 Upper case pi has straight legs. Lower case pi has curved legs that are not parallel. Thanks from 123qwerty Last edited by skipjack; June 23rd, 2017 at 10:49 PM.
June 23rd, 2017, 05:50 PM   #8
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 Originally Posted by mathman Upper case pi has straight legs. Lower case pi has curved legs that are not parallel.
Do you curl your legs when handwriting lowercase pi or keep them straight? I find it cumbersome.

In fact, I don't really do either, since I usually sit down when I write.

Last edited by skipjack; June 23rd, 2017 at 10:51 PM.

June 23rd, 2017, 05:55 PM   #9
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 Originally Posted by mathman Upper case pi has straight legs. Lower case pi has curved legs that are not parallel.
Ah, okay, so lowercase pi looks like one of those short stools, whereas uppercase pi looks like a phone booth. Thanks!

Last edited by skipjack; June 23rd, 2017 at 10:51 PM.

June 23rd, 2017, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by 123qwerty Ah, okay, so lowercase pi looks like one of those short stools, whereas uppercase pi looks like a phone booth. Thanks!
You must be old enough to remember when there were enclosed upright phone boots.

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