A sensible discussion regarding whether “simple” algorithms should appear at SODA has been derailed in the comments by people arguing whether computer scientists have destroyed mathematics by using the notation “” to refer to the integer in that is congruent to modulo .
Although I find the opinions expressed in the comments extreme, and see nothing wrong with using in the sense above as long as it is clear to the reader, I have to say that I myself sometimes find the notation confusing. When Yehuda and I wrote our textbook, we noticed this and decided to write to refer to reduction of modulo , as opposed to for the “standard” mathematical notion of equality modulo . (As a personal preference, I don’t like using \pmod to write though I can understand others who choose to use it.) For that matter, we also distinguished between an assignment operator “” and the equality predicate “”. That way, the expressions “” and “” and “” can all be distinguished from each other.
While it’s ok to be pedantic and obsessive in one’s own writing (as I am), it seems wrong to require it of others especially if there is no danger of misinterpretation.