# Homework Help: Polynomial Functions (word problem)

1. Sep 29, 2011

### anonymous12

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
A quartic function has x-intercepts of -5, -1, 2, and 4. The point (3.-8) lies on the curve. Determine an equation of the function.

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution
y = k (x+5)(x+1)(x-2)(x-4)
Expanded form: f(x)=kx^4 + 9x^2 - 38x + 40 <---My expanded form is most likely wrong because expanding a quartic function tends to get clustered and confusing.

Other than this I have absolutely no idea how to solve this question.

2. Sep 29, 2011

### gb7nash

This looks fine.

Unfortunately, your expansion is wrong. First show your steps, so we can see where the mistake is in your work.

3. Sep 29, 2011

### eumyang

I wouldn't even expand yet. I would find k first by plugging 3 and -8 for x and y into the factored form. Then I would multiply out the factors, and distribute the k value last.

4. Sep 30, 2011

### gb7nash

Valid point. It's much easier to solve for k in this form.