I am new to the forum, and I am sure it will be evident by this first question, but I hope to learn a lot here. so.. here is what I was thinking about that prompted me to look for a math forum. Say I have (20cm)2. That would be 400 square centimeters, or, 4 square meters? Now, what if I convert to meters before squaring? Then, I have (0.2 m)2, or .04 square meters... 4 square centimeters? Why does this not work? When should I be converting to units? Before or after multiplication. Thanks for any input.