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Chapter 7

# Plugging In Polynomials

In This Chapter

Locating the intercepts in polynomials

Figuring out where a polynomial function changes signs

Assembling all the information you need to graph a polynomial curve

Looking for roots with clues from Descartes — and others

Doing division synthetically and taking other shortcuts

Building up polynomials from their roots

A polynomial function is a well-mannered function with nice, predictable habits. The graph of a polynomial function is always a smooth curve with no abrupt changes in direction or shape. The equation of a polynomial function has only whole-number exponents on the variables.

A polynomial function has the form f(x) = anxn + an–1xn–1 + an–2xn–2+ · · · + a1x1 + a0x0, where n is a whole number and any ani is a real number. The ...

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