Degree of a Polynomial
Date: 31 Dec 1994 15:17:50 -0500 From: Guy Subject: question on degree of polynomial Hello, I'm a secondary teacher in British Columbia with a question about the degree of a polynomial that I was asked by a student. The degree of the polynomial is the exponent sum of the variables, so that x^2 y^3 is degree 5, but what about x^3 y^(-2)? Is the exponent sum 1 or is it the absolute value sum and degree 5? I assume it will be the absolute value sum but I'm not certain. Thank you in advance.
Date: 1 Jan 1995 20:49:23 -0500 From: Dr. Ken Subject: Re: question on degree of polynomial Hello Guy! This is a good question, but the answer is not what you might expect, since it's actually neither of the choices you present. A polynomial cannot have a negative exponent, so your example of x^3 y^(-2) fails that rule, making it a moot point with regard to the degree. I hope this helps you! Write back if you have more problems! -Ken "Dr." Math
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