Monday, March 9, 2015

[IB-HL H&H_Rev6C Q11] Factors of a Complex Polynomial


     This question is taken from the Haese & Harris textbook for IB HL Mathematics and is rather challenging.  Here I present two solutions.  In the first solution, I use substitution to make a variable “disappear”.  [ heuristics: H10. Simplify the problem, H11. Solve part of the problem]  And that allowed me to crack the rest of them problem.  In the second solution, I rephrased the problem in terms of tangents to curves. [ heuristic H09. Restate the problem in another way ] This gives another angle from which to tackle the problem.

Solution 1

Solution 2

Thinking Back
     Both solutions are related in the sense that they hinge on some form of the relation maked as [*].  That led to an equation in  a.  Once a  is found,  k  can be found, and the solutions proceed similarly.  The equation [*] is a manifestation of the fact that for a repeated root, both P(x) and P’(x) share a common factor.

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