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Wolfram|Alpha Activity - Topic, Polynomial Functions - Intermediate Algebra Activity 4

Wolfram|Alpha Activity - Topic, Polynomial Functions - Intermediate Algebra Activity 4

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Published by Pearson Math Stats
Technology is an important part of learning mathematics. For decades, graphing calculators were the primary tool used to accomplish this. Upon completion of college, however, students rarely use or see the need for these devices. A growing trend exists instead towards computers, smart phones and other devices running Internet software that has become extremely powerful, easy to use and low-cost or free of charge. Effective mathematics instruction should keep up with this trend by incorporating these types of programs. It will benefit students three ways: (1) introduce students to the latest tools of science and technology; (2) provide students with life skills that are more likely to apply to the real world; and (3) reinforce concepts of the mathematics involved in their coursework.

Wolfram|Alpha represents one of the most exciting, broadly applicable, powerful and easy to use of all the computational programs available. About one-third of the questions in these Intermediate Algebra activities teach input and command syntax; one-third emphasizes answer interpretation; and one-third reinforces the concepts and material of Intermediate Algebra. The projects are meant to be started after finishing the corresponding chapter(s) in the students' textbook.
Technology is an important part of learning mathematics. For decades, graphing calculators were the primary tool used to accomplish this. Upon completion of college, however, students rarely use or see the need for these devices. A growing trend exists instead towards computers, smart phones and other devices running Internet software that has become extremely powerful, easy to use and low-cost or free of charge. Effective mathematics instruction should keep up with this trend by incorporating these types of programs. It will benefit students three ways: (1) introduce students to the latest tools of science and technology; (2) provide students with life skills that are more likely to apply to the real world; and (3) reinforce concepts of the mathematics involved in their coursework.

Wolfram|Alpha represents one of the most exciting, broadly applicable, powerful and easy to use of all the computational programs available. About one-third of the questions in these Intermediate Algebra activities teach input and command syntax; one-third emphasizes answer interpretation; and one-third reinforces the concepts and material of Intermediate Algebra. The projects are meant to be started after finishing the corresponding chapter(s) in the students' textbook.

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Published by: Pearson Math Stats on Jan 25, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/27/2010

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Polynomial Functions 1 Intermediate Algebra Activities Using WA
WA
 
Activity
 
#
 
4
‐‐
Polynomial
 
Functions
 
Type
 
“let
 
x
 
=
4
 
in
 
(3x^2
7x
 
 –
 
41)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
1.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
value
 
of 
 
this
 
polynomial
 
at
 
x
 
=
4?
 
2.
 
Check
 
the
 
solution.
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
Type
 
“(3ab
7b
2a+20)
(
11ab
4a+b
13)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
3.
 
Check
 
the
 
input.
 
Does
 
it
 
match
 
the
 
expression
 
you
 
were
 
trying
 
to
 
simplify?
 
4.
 
Ignore
 
the
 
plots
 
and
 
the
 
higher
 
level
 
math
 
forms.
 
Did
 
WA
 
subtract
 
the
 
two
 
polynomials?
 
5.
 
Check
 
the
 
solution.
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
Type
 
“(3x+2)(2x
5)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
6.
 
Does
 
the
 
input
 
confirm
 
what
 
you
 
wanted?
 
7.
 
What
 
does
 
the
 
blue
 
line
 
in
 
the
 
plot
 
represent?
 
8.
 
The
 
geometric
 
shapes,
 
properties,
 
and
 
roots
 
of 
 
equations
 
like
 
this
 
will
 
be
 
studied
 
later
 
in
 
your
 
course.
 
Where
 
do
 
you
 
see
 
the
 
answer
 
to
 
this
 
problem
 
as
 
you
 
normally
 
would
 
express
 
it;
 
what
 
does
 
WA
 
call
 
it?
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
answer?
 
Type
 
“multiply
 
(3x+2)(2x
5)”
 
and
 
“expand
 
(3x+2)(2x
5)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
9.
 
Of 
 
the
 
three
 
forms
 
of 
 
the
 
command
 
which
 
do
 
you
 
like
 
the
 
best?
 
Why?
 
Type
 
“(6x^4
8x^3+9)
 
/
 
(3x^3)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
10.
 
Check
 
the
 
input.
 
Does
 
it
 
match
 
the
 
expression
 
you
 
were
 
trying
 
to
 
simplify?
 
11.
 
Look
 
at
 
the
 
Alternate
 
form.
 
Explain
 
how
 
WA
 
got
 
its
 
answer.
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
Why
 
do
 
you
 
think
 
they
 
wrote
 
the
 
terms
 
of 
 
their
 
answer
 
in
 
the
 
order
 
they
 
did?
 
 
Polynomial Functions 2 Intermediate Algebra Activities Using WA
Type
 
“(6x^2
11x
7)
 
/
 
(3x
7)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
12.
 
Does
 
the
 
input
 
match
 
what
 
you
 
were
 
looking
 
for?
 
13.
 
What
 
does
 
the
 
blue
 
line
 
in
 
the
 
plot
 
represent?
 
14.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
answer
 
to
 
this
 
division
 
of 
 
two
 
polynomials
 
as
 
you
 
would
 
normally
 
express
 
it?
 
15.
 
If 
 
you
 
did
 
this
 
problem
 
using
 
long
 
division
 
on
 
paper
 
and
 
pencil
 
what
 
is
 
the
 
quotient?
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
remainder?
 
Does
 
WA
 
show
 
this
 
to
 
you?
 
16.
 
What
 
does
 
WA
 
show
 
is
 
the
 
Root
 
of 
 
the
 
expression
 
(6x^2
11x
7)/(3x
7)?
 
Substitute
 
that
 
value
 
into
 
the
 
expression
 
for
 
x.
 
What
 
did
 
you
 
get?
 
Type
 
“(3x^3
2x^2+5)
 
/
 
(x+3)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
17.
 
Look
 
at
 
the
 
Alternate
 
forms.
 
Which
 
one
 
is
 
the
 
answer
 
to
 
this
 
division
 
of 
 
two
 
polynomials
 
as
 
you
 
would
 
normally
 
express
 
it?
 
Write
 
it
 
in
 
the
 
order
 
you
 
normally
 
would.
 
18.
 
Did
 
this
 
division
 
of 
 
two
 
polynomials
 
come
 
out
 
“even?”
 
That
 
is,
 
is
 
the
 
remainder
 
equal
 
to
 
zero?
 
20.
 
If 
 
you
 
did
 
this
 
problem
 
using
 
long
 
division
 
on
 
paper
 
and
 
pencil
 
what
 
is
 
the
 
quotient?
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
remainder?
 
21.
 
What
 
does
 
WA
 
show
 
is
 
the
 
Real
 
root
 
of 
 
the
 
expression
 
(3x^3
2x^2+5)/(x+3)?
 
Substitute
 
that
 
value
 
into
 
the
 
expression
 
for
 
x.
 
What
 
did
 
you
 
get?
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
22.
 
Now
 
that
 
you
 
know
 
what
 
the
 
real
 
root
 
is,
 
look
 
back
 
up
 
at
 
the
 
blue
 
line
 
representing
 
the
 
plot
 
of 
 
the
 
expression.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
x
intercept?
 
Type
 
“gcd
 
16x^5y^2,
 
20x^4y^6,
 
24x^6y^8”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
23.
 
What
 
does
 
GCD
 
stand
 
for?
 
24.
 
Show
 
that
 
the
 
GCD
 
divides
 
evenly
 
into
 
each
 
of 
 
the
 
three
 
expressions.
 
Type
 
“factor
 
6x^2
 
+
 
7x
3”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
25.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
answer?
 
26.
 
Multiply
 
the
 
two
 
factors
 
together
 
to
 
confirm
 
the
 
answer.
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
Does
 
it
 
check?
 
 
Polynomial Functions 3 Intermediate Algebra Activities Using WA
Type
 
“factor
 
9x^3
15x^2
36x”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
27.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
Factor
 
completely.
 
Express
 
the
 
answer
 
as
 
you
 
normally
 
would
 
when
 
factoring
 
polynomials.
 
Type
 
“factor
 
4x^2
25”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
28.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
29.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
name
 
for
 
this
 
special
 
type
 
of 
 
polynomial?
 
30.
 
Look
 
at
 
the
 
plot
 
(either
 
one).
 
How
 
many
 
x
intercepts
 
are
 
there?
 
Type
 
“factor
 
4x^2
 
+
 
25”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
31.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
Explain.
 
32.
 
Look
 
at
 
the
 
plot
 
(either
 
one).
 
How
 
many
 
x
intercepts
 
are
 
there?
 
Do
 
either
 
of 
 
the
 
plots
 
show
 
the
 
x
axis?
 
Type
 
“x
 
+
 
3
 
=
 
0”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
33.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
solution
 
to
 
the
 
equation?
 
34.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
graph
 
represented
 
by
 
the
 
blue
 
line?
 
35.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
point
 
represented
 
by
 
the
 
red
 
dot?
 
36.
 
Look
 
at
 
the
 
viewing
 
window
 
of 
 
the
 
plot.
 
What
 
are
 
the
 
Xmin,
 
Xmax,
 
Ymin
 
and
 
Ymax?
 
Does
 
the
 
plot
 
show
 
the
 
x
axis?
 
Does
 
the
 
plot
 
show
 
the
 
y
axis?
 
Type
 
“5x^2
 
=
16x
3”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
37.
 
What
 
does
 
the
 
graph
 
of 
 
the
 
blue
 
line
 
represent?
 
38.
 
What
 
does
 
the
 
graph
 
of 
 
the
 
red
 
line
 
represent?
 
39.
 
What
 
do
 
the
 
red
 
dots
 
represent?
 
40.
 
How
 
many
 
solutions
 
are
 
there?
 

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