What is the simplest way of selecting the last N terms of a polynomial?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

If you have a polynomial like (1+x)^6 = x^6+6 x^5+15 x^4+20 x^3+15 x^2+6 x+1, What function would you use to pick only the last N terms? For instance, for N=3 pick x^6+6 x^5+15 x^4

I've being using sum of a binomial times something, but was wondering if there is anything more simple.

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
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What function would you use to pick only the last N terms?
What do you mean by "to pick"? Can you state your question mathematically?
 
  • #4
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^ I think he might just mean an (ordered) set of terms from the polynomial. The order is established by listing the coefficients in descending order of their degree.

I think what you want isn't so complicated. It's as follows: if [itex]p \in \mathbb{R}\left[x\right][/itex] is a polynomial with degree n, i.e. [itex]p(x) = {p_n}{x^n} + {p_{n - 1}}{x^{n - 1}} + ... + {p_1}x + p_0[/itex], define the function [itex]F_k: \mathbb{R}\left[x\right] \rightarrow \mathbb{N}^k[/itex] by [itex]{F_k}(p) = (p_n, p_{n - 1}, ..., p_{n - k})[/itex]. This "gets" the first (or if you want, last) k coefficients, which is really all you need to define a polynomial.
 
Last edited:
  • #5
Here:

gif.latex?\dpi{120}%20(x+y)^n=\sum_{\mu=0}^{n}\binom{n}{\mu}x^ny^{n-\mu}.gif

where

gif.latex?\dpi{120}%20\binom{n}{\mu}=\frac{n!}{\mu!(n-\mu)!}.gif


for example:
tex?\dpi{150}%20(x+1)^3=\binom{3}{0}+\binom{3}{1}x+\binom{3}{2}x^2+\binom{3}{3}x^3=1+3x+3x^2+x^3.gif
Exactly! This is the function I've being using. What I wonder is if there is a more simple version of it.

Thank you very much anyways!
 
  • #6
I think it's the simplest way. May be, if you don't want to deal with combinatorics, use "[URL [Broken] triangle[/URL]
 
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  • #7
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That only works for polynomials which can be expressed in the form (1 + x)n, though ...
 

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