I have the following problem:
The nationwide average salary of a computer programmer can be modeled by the equation y=31.8x(1.06)^n, where y is the salary in thousands of dollars and n is the number of years since 1990.
Using the model, predict the average programmer's salary in 2010.
y = 31.8x(1.06)^20 Rounded, I got the answer $102,000. Is this correct?
If is a second independent variable, then the problem should specify what it represents. In the context of this problem, I would certainly think that it indicates multiplication.
Where are you getting the problem from? If it is in print, then you should be able to distinguish between the Latin character 'x' and the multiplication symbol '×' (the latter will generally have perfectly straight, uniform-width lines, as shown here).