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Math 1513 Sec R.3
1
Section
R.3
Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication
of Polynomials
Polynomials are algebraic expressions that we will deal
with often in this course.
Hopefully, you are very familiar
with them and the material in this section will be a review.
Polynomials consist on one or more terms that are added
or subtracted together.
Each term of the polynomial has
the same basic form.
It may begin with a coefficient (a real number)
that is multiplied by the variable term.
It contains one or more variables (
x, y, z
, etc.)
The variables may be raised to powers and these
powers must be nonnegative integers.
A polynomial in one variable looks like:
1
2
1
2
1
0
...
n
n
n
n
n
n
a x
a
x
a
x
a x a
Not all terms need to be present. Also, some of the signs
may be negative.
The highest power of the variable that is present in the
polynomial is called the
degree of the polynomial
.
The coefficient of the term with the highest power is
called the
leading coefficient
.
If the terms are written in order from the highest power of
the variable to the lowest power, the polynomial is said to
be written in
descending order
.

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Math 1513 Sec R.3

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