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What would I do with this?

  1. Sep 27, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    If someone gave you this 5b2y + x2y2 + 5cz2 and said "Solve this problem" with no further instructions, what in the world would you do with this? It's some sort of multinomial and factoring that out is over my head if that's what is intended here. Anyone have a clue about this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2010 #2
    If they gave me no additional information I’d ask them to tell me what they mean by “solve” since there isn’t even any type of equality. Are the numbers supposed to be exponents?
  4. Sep 27, 2010 #3
    Yes, my apologies. All the 2s mean to the power of 2. So it should read: 5b^2y + x^2y^2 + 5cz^2
  5. Sep 27, 2010 #4
    If he wants you to factor it, you can’t hardly do anything since there are only a few terms with common factors…
  6. Sep 28, 2010 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    This is a very poorly posed problem. You cannot "solve" an expression, which is what 5b2y + x2y2 + 5cz2 is.

    You can solve an equation (e.g., 2x2 + 3x + 5 = 0) or an inequality (e.g., 2x + y <= 0), but what you have isn't an equation or an inequality.
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