Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Carla, a student:

I am struggling to understand Multiplication of Polynomials. No matter how hard I try to understand Multiplication of Polynomials, I just can't get it!

In my Math Book I am learning how to multiply polynomials using a horizontal format. Which I can't understand.

The problem that I am trying to solve is this :

-3x^3y(-y + 2 -x^2 + x)

How would I workout this problem?

Thanks for your answer!


Use the distributive law: multiply the first factor by each term inside the parentheses in turn, Be sure to keep track of signs.

Thus, (-5x)(x2 - 2y2 + xy)

= (-5x) x2 - (-5x) 2y2 + (-5x)(xy)

= -5x3 + 10xy2 - 5x2y

Now try the same idea on your problem.

Good Hunting!

PS: If both factors have multiple terms, multiply every term of the first factor by every term of the second, then combine terms with the same powers in.


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