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Homework Help: HELP: Linear Algebra

  1. Jun 15, 2005 #1
    HELP !!!: Linear Algebra (I'm stuck)

    Hello my name is Robert and I was referred to this site by a guy from my linear algebra class.

    The reason for me written to You is because I'm stuck with a linear algebra problem.

    Therefore I hope You Guys can give me a hint.

    I have an assignement where I am suppose to build a cubic polynomial of degree 3 using some conditions.

    Here are the conditions:

    p1(-2) = 2 and p'(-2) = 0 p2(4) = 6 and p2'(4) = 0

    p1(0) = p2(0) and p1'(0) = p2'(0)

    I know I need to construct the polynomial, but my College Professor that polynomials must be written factorized.


    p(x) = (s+t) x^3 + (s+t) x^2 + sx +t

    I would very much appriciate if any of You Guys could give a hint on how to write a cubic polynomial in the for which my Professor asks.

    Thanks :-)

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Well, based on other, similar, questions that are flying around, I would guess, that we're looking at two cubic polynomials (rather than one which you mention in your post).

    An easy way to deal with this type of excercise is to write out the cubic with variables as coefficients i.e.

    Then write out the derivatives you have in your equations:

    and then plug them into your equations:

    This will produce a system of equations in the coeficients.

    P.S. Since there are only 6 equations, but 8 unknowns, there will be more than one solution.
    P.P.S. Cubic Polynomial and Polynomial of degree 3 mean the same thing.
  4. Jun 15, 2005 #3
    Hi Nate,

    How do I then write it out in the form that my professor wants Us too ??

    Best Regards,


  5. Jun 15, 2005 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You should be able to figure out what [itex]s[/itex] and [itex]t[/itex] are if you have the polynomial's coefficient.
  6. Jun 15, 2005 #5
    I got the coefficients, but don't know how to use them to write the polynomial is desired form ??


  7. Jun 15, 2005 #6
    hello Bob

    you should have a look at the recent questions asked in this forum i think this same question was recently asked by Mathman23 have look at what was discussed in there

    take care

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