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Browse High School Polynomials
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or
good places to begin browsing.
Selected answers to common questions:
Completing the square.
Quadratic equations.
 Using Cardan's Formula to find Real Roots [04/13/2000]

How can I show that, although the cubic equation x^3  6x = 4 has three
real solutions, Cardan's formula can find them by subtracting appropriate
cube roots of complex numbers?
 Visual Representation of (a+b)(ab) [03/22/2003]

Is there a way to model (a+b) * (ab)?
 What's His Street Address? How Many Neighbors Does He Have? [09/29/2010]

A student struggles with a word problem that asks for specific sums of counting
numbers. Three different doctors weigh in with increasingly sophisticated and
comprehensive problemsolving approaches: programming spreadsheet formulas;
applying combinatorics; and invoking quadratic Diophantine and Pell equations.
 Why Algebraic Expressions with Parentheses? [03/18/2003]

How would you write these algebraic expressions without parentheses?
(2x3y6) and (5x13y1).
 Why Are Remainders Small? [07/06/2016]

A teen seeks an explanation for why polynomial division always results in remainders
smaller than divisors. With an analogy to integer division, Doctor Peterson clarifies that
it's a choice.
 Why Do We Use Order of Operations? [09/18/2008]

Why is it necessary to use order of operations? Why can't you just
write a calculation from left to right, so 5+2^3*2 is just 2^3*2+5?
Doctor Peterson shows how order of operations makes writing and
understanding algebraic expressions quite simple.
 Why Factor? [08/18/2001]

I've been explained the how's, the where's, the what's, but not the WHY.
What is the practical use of factoring?
 Why Factor Polynomials? [02/20/1998]

Why is factoring polynomials important for our everyday lives?
 Why FOIL? [11/21/2002]

How can I explain to the class the importance of learning FOIL?
 Zeros of Polynomials [9/24/1996]

Given that 1 is a zero of the equation P(x) = x^35x^2+17x13, find all
other zeros.
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