Polynomial

A function that is a sum of power functions, with positive integer exponents, multiplied by constants.

e.g.

Biquadratic Equation

A polynomial equation of the 4th degree.

Cubic Equation

A polynomial equation of degree 3.

Descartes Rule of Signs

The number of positive real zeros of a polynomial is either equal to the number of variations in sign of the coefficients or else less than that number by a positive even integer. The number of negative real zeros of a polynomial is either equal to the number of variations in sign of P(-x) or else less than that number by a positive even integer.

Degree of the Function

Indicates the number of possible zeros of the function.

Leading Coefficient

The multiplier of the x with the highest power.

Monic Polynomial

A polynomial in which the coefficient of the term of highest degree is 1.

Quadratic Equation

An equation of the form f(x)=0 where f(x) is a second degree polynomial. That is, ax2+bx+c=0.

Quartic Polynomial

A polynomial of degree 4.

Quintic Polynomial

A polynomial of degree 5.

Rational Function

This is a polynomial divided by a polynomial.

Rational Number

Can be put in the form of an integer divided by an integer.

See also: Algebraic Equation, Cubic Equation, Curve Sketching, Factor Theorem, Factored, Quadratic Equation, Root.

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Subjects: Mathematics