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Topic:  creative opening question for a lesson 
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Subject:  RE: Factoring polynomials 
Author:  Magdi 
Date:  Jul 1 2006 
If this is a standalone activity, for teachers you can see
one of the Maths. Prgrams like Mathematica, Derive or Maple
or MatLab. Through the Order Factor[P(x)] you get what you need.
If it is an activity for computer programming, here is a simple
one for "quadratic polynomial ax^2+bx+c=0"
Input a, Input b, Input c
b^24*a*c>D
If D> = <0
Go to 100, 200, 300
100x1=(b+sqrt(D))/2a,x2=(bsqrt(D))/2a
 Disp"P(x)=","(x",x1,")","(x",x2,")"
Go to 500
200x1=(b/2a)
 Disp"P(x)=","(x",x1,")^2"
Go to 500
300x1=(b+i*sqrt(D))/2a,x2=(bi*sqrt(D))/2a
Disp"P(x)=","(x",x1,")","(x",x2,")"
Go to 500
500 End
If it is an activity for Precalculus we can use the theory of remainder to
factor P, using synthetic division.
You can find a sutable program in RICHARD L.BURDEN&FARES Numerical
Analysis.Chapter 2.
 
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