Scientific Calculator Cannot Parse the Correct Sign when Squaring a Negative Number

There is a problem with the calculator where equivalent statements when entered differently will lead to different results.

Earlier when entering in -9^2 when calculating for an integral, I got a wrong answer. Its not until I answered in the equivalent 81 that the true answer showed up. This inspite of -9 to the second power being the exact same as 81.

To investigate further, I typed in -9^2 into the scientific calculator and got -81…despite the fact that any negative integer squared is positive.

The correct answer does come out if I type in (-9)^2 however. So it can parse if one is specific in their notation using brackets.

If the calculator outputs the wrong sign like this, its no wonder my integral was off.

It’s not really wrong. Your entry is just ambiguous. It’s calculating as -(9^2) rather than (-9)^2. Any time you have -x^2 it’s assumed that the coefficient is negative not the variable. Desmos recognizes the same for constants.