MathGroup Archive 2002

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Factoring problem

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg35499] Factoring problem
  • From: "Steven Hodgen" <shodgen at>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 04:50:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I've decided to see if any of you can factor this eq. since it's not
possible to have Mathematica show intermediate steps when factoring.  This
is a problem from my precalc book, and the instructor of the class hasn't
been able to get to the final answer either.  I've tried and tried using
grouping in various ways, as well as other techniques.

I'd appreciate it if anyone can figure this out, since I just can't get over
this problem.

Original problem:
    y^4 - (p + q)*y^3 + (p^2*q + p*q^2)*y - p^2*q^2
Answer in book:
    (y^2 - p*q)*(y - p)*(y - q)



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