Welcome to Week Four

Factoring (MAT1001)

Weekly Content - Polynomials

This week's content is the natural next step from last week's discussion of polynomials. When you're thinking about factoring polynomials, in the back of your mind you should keep in mind that this is fundamentally the same thing as factoring numbers. For example, a number like 18 can be "factored" to 2 * 9, i.e. it can be rewritten as the product of two smaller numbers. The factoring of polynomials is based on the same goal: take a "large" expression and rewrite it as the product of two (or more) "smaller" expressions.

Weekly Motivation - Building Blocks

Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. [1]
-- Renee Descartes

Implicit in Descarte's statement is that he did a lot of problems to develop lots of rules. That's good advice for any student. It's especially important this week. Factoring is an essential technique that you have to know in order to solve polynomial equations - something that comes up often in practical applications.


[1] Descarte, Renee. (1637) Le Discours de la Méthode