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## Main Question or Discussion Point

What does the notation gcd(x,y) means?

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What does the notation gcd(x,y) means?

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Hurkyl

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d = gcd(x, y) iff d is the largest thing such that d|x and d|y.

d = gcd(x, y) iff d is the smallest nonzero thing of the form ux + vy. (u and v need not be greater than zero)

(Size is measured by absolute value. We always use the positive one)

Note that all of this makes sense for more than just integers -- for example, it works for polynomials if "size" is measured by degree. (We always choose the monic polynomial)

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lurflurf

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I perfer a definition that does not require an ordering of element such asHurkyl said:

d = gcd(x, y) iff d is the largest thing such that d|x and d|y.

d = gcd(x, y) iff d is the smallest nonzero thing of the form ux + vy. (u and v need not be greater than zero)

(Size is measured by absolute value. We always use the positive one)

Note that all of this makes sense for more than just integers -- for example, it works for polynomials if "size" is measured by degree. (We always choose the monic polynomial)

gcd(x,y)=d iff d|x,y and if c|x,y then c|d

That is to say d is a common divisor of x and y

and

all common divisors of x and y divide d

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Hurkyl

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I feel that the characterization as the least nonzero linear combination to be a generally more useful characterization, but I guess that gets translated in the same way: d = ux + vy, and d | ax + by for all a and b.

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