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01/04/2013

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College Algebra

Tutorial 6:Polynomials

Learning Objectives
After completing this tutorial, you should be able to:1.Identify a term, coefficient, constant term, and polynomial.2.Tell the difference between a monomial, binomial, and trinomial.3.Find the degree of a term and polynomial.4.Combine like terms.5.Add and subtract polynomials.6.Multiply any polynomial times any other polynomial.7.Use the FOIL method to multiply a binomial times a binomial.8.Use special product rules to multiply a binomial squared and a product of a sum and difference of two terms.
Introduction
In this tutorial we will be looking at the different components of polynomials.Then we will move on to adding, subtracting and multiplying them. Some of these concepts are based on ideas that were covered in earlier tutorials. A lot of times in math you use previous knowledge to learn new concepts. The trick is tonot reinvent the wheel each time but recognize what you have done before anddraw on that knowledge to help you work through the problems.

Tutorial
Let’s start with defining some words before we get to our polynomial.
Term

A term is a number, variable or the product of a number and variable(s).
Examples of terms are
, z.

Coefficient

A coefficient is the numeric factor of your term.
Here are the coefficients of the terms listed above:
TermCoefficient
352
z
1
Constant Term

A constant term is a term that contains only a number
. In other words, thereis no variable in a constant term.Examples of constant terms are 4, 100, and -5.
Standard Form of a Polynomialwhere
n
is a non-negative integer.is called the leading coefficient.

is a constant.
In other words,
a polynomial is a finite sum of terms where the exponents onthe variables are non-negative integers.
Note that the terms are separated by+’s and -‘s.An example of a polynomial expression is .
Degree of a Term

The degree of a term is the sum of the exponents on the variables containedin the term.
For example, the degree of the term would be 1 + 1 = 2. The exponent on
a
is 1 and on
b
is 1 and the sum of the exponents is 2.The degree of the term would be 3 since the only variable exponent that wehave is 3.