Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.
Two cubes, each with integral side lengths, have a combined volume equal to the total of the lengths of their edges. How big are the cubes? [If you find a result by 'trial and error' you'll need to. . . .
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
If x, y and z are real numbers such that: x + y + z = 5 and xy + yz + zx = 3. What is the largest value that any of the numbers can have?
Exploit the symmetry and turn this quartic into a quadratic.
What have Fibonacci numbers to do with solutions of the quadratic equation x^2 - x - 1 = 0 ?
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
Find the polynomial p(x) with integer coefficients such that one solution of the equation p(x)=0 is $1+\sqrt 2+\sqrt 3$.
Can you fit polynomials through these points?
Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.
A sequence of polynomials starts 0, 1 and each poly is given by combining the two polys in the sequence just before it. Investigate and prove results about the roots of the polys.
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
Quadratic graphs are very familiar, but what patterns can you explore with cubics?
In y = ax +b when are a, -b/a, b in arithmetic progression. The polynomial y = ax^2 + bx + c has roots r1 and r2. Can a, r1, b, r2 and c be in arithmetic progression?
Step back and reflect! This article reviews techniques such as substitution and change of coordinates which enable us to exploit underlying structures to crack problems.
This article only skims the surface of Galois theory and should probably be accessible to a 17 or 18 year old school student with a strong interest in mathematics.
Prove that the graph of f(x) = x^3 - 6x^2 +9x +1 has rotational symmetry. Do graphs of all cubics have rotational symmetry?
Observe symmetries and engage the power of substitution to solve complicated equations.
Find relationships between the polynomials a, b and c which are polynomials in n giving the sums of the first n natural numbers, squares and cubes respectively.
Find the relationship between the locations of points of inflection, maxima and minima of functions.
How do scores on dice and factors of polynomials relate to each other?
Can you fit a cubic equation to this graph?