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Math vocabulary

  1. Dec 28, 2005 #1
    I was finishing a test today when one of the questions towards the end asked to have all the rational roots listed of a polynomial. I looked at this question and I thought: "I have never heard of 'rational roots'". Though I have heard of rational zeroes, so I just assumed these two to be the same. So far, from my web search and comparison of my book they seem the same.
    So I have a question to follow this (that I don't think is homework intensive, but): Are there any of other theorems which have other common names that I may encounter, does this happen often?
    Maybe I did go spacecadet in class for a while and the professor might have mentioned that the two are the same/related, but...will this be a reocurring trend through an education in math, say, up to differential equations?
    EDIT: this was in college algebra.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Strictly speaking, an equation has a root, while a function, such as a polynomial, has a zero. A zero of a function, f(x), is a root of the equation f(x)= 0. It is, unfortunately, a distinction that is ignored by all but anal-rententive people like me!
  4. Dec 28, 2005 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    To answer your question - some classes may have different terms for a single concept, and sometimes a syllabus will define something that you think you already know in a different way with a piossibly different meaning. Definitions rule for each class you take.

    Explanations of the Chinese remainder theorem in the hands of different folks:

    http://www-math.cudenver.edu/~wcherowi/courses/m5410/ctccrt.html [Broken]

    (This one has a proof and some "remarks" which are really limiting conditions or definitions)

    http://planetmath.org/encyclopedia/ChineseRemainderTheorem.html [Broken]

    They don't look identical do they?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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