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Topic: AC method of factoring polynomials
Replies: 5   Last Post: Oct 26, 2013 10:25 AM

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Dave L. Renfro

Posts: 4,792
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: AC method of factoring polynomials
Posted: Jul 31, 2007 12:42 PM
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Stephen J. Herschkorn wrote (in part):

> I don't think it is the case that I learned this method
> once long ago and subsequently forgot it, so I am surprised
> I never saw it before. How well known is this method? Is it
> taught much? I don't find it in my favorite College Algebra
> text (by C.H. Lehmann), and it doesn't show up in the first
> three pages from Googl(R)ing "polynomial factor." At least
> one of my more advanced clients had never seen it before either.

I first encountered this just 3 years ago, where the method
was used in the intermediate algebra classes at a university
I was teaching at back then. Like you, I was amazed that I
had never heard of this before, especially given the amount
of exposure to algebra and precalculus mathematics I've had
over the past 35 years (my own studies, tutoring, TA classes,
classes taught, articles in teaching journals, etc.). I wrote
the following about it in a 28 April 2006 post at


Gary Tupper wrote (in part):

> This method, sometimes called "factoring by grouping"
> is mentioned in current texts:

Factoring by grouping usually denotes a more general
method than what you described, although factoring
by grouping is certainly used in the method you
described. I've often seen the method you described
called the "AC Method". The AC Method is great for
students weak on creativity and "seeing things",
but who are good at following specific easy to
describe cut-and-dried procedures. There seems
to be a lot about it on the internet:


Dave L. Renfro

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