Date: 4/26/96 at 11:52:49 From: Mike Robkin Subject: Simplifying How do you simplify polynomials? Noah Robkin
Date: 8/4/96 at 16:27:25 From: Doctor Mike Subject: Re: Simplifying Hello, We are not exactly sure what kind of information you are after. The word "simplify" is open to interpretation, and what might be simple for one person and purpose might be totally inappropriate for another. I'll make a few comments about this for you, but if this doesn't cover it please write back with some more specific questions. I will use A^B to represent A to the power (exponent) B. Here are three ways of writing the exact same polynomial:  3x^3 + 7x^2 - 2x - 8  (x+2)*(3x+4)*(x-1)  ((3x+7)*x - 2)*x - 8 Version one is in so-called Standard Form and clearly shows the coefficients of each power of the variable x. Version two is factored, which makes it easy to see what x values make that product of 3 things equal to zero. For instance, if x=1 then the last factor is zero, which makes the whole thing zero. If x=-2 then the first factor is zero. What x value makes the middle factor zero? Version three may *look* extra complicated, but it is just right for computer programs. It is a very speed-efficient way to evaluate the polynomial expression, given an x value. I hope this at least covers part of what you want. Please write back if more or different information is needed. -Doctor Mike, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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