Date: 14 Mar 1995 16:42:05 -0500 From: Sandip Mody Subject: Factoring Polynomials Hi, I am having trouble factoring the following polynomials: 6a^2y^2+5ay^2-6y^2 and 3ax^2+7ax+2a. I would appreciate if you could show me step by step instructions and possibly even more examples. Thank you.
Date: 19 Mar 1995 01:28:39 -0500 From: Dr. Sydney Subject: Re: Factoring Polynomials Hello! Sorry we didn't get back to you sooner. When factoring polynomials, look for numbers or variables that are common to all parts of the polynomial. For instance, in your first example, look first at the variables. Are there a's in each part of the polynomial? The first two terms both have an a, but the last term doesn't. Are there y's in each part of the polynomial? Yes, in fact there is a y^2 in each part of the polynomial. So, you can first factor out a y^2. Then you get : Y^2(6a^2 + 5a - 6). Now the problem is to factor 6a^2 + 5a - 6. This is just a standard quadratic you are probably more used to factoring. Can you figure out what it factors into? Go through the same process with the second problem. Can you factor out an a? How about an x? Any constants? The best way to learn how to factor polynomials is to practice a lot. So, keep working, and I'm sure you will get it. If you have any other questions, feel free to write back! --Sydney, "Dr. Math"
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.