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MathGroup Archive 2002

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Re: Factoring problem

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg35504] Re: [mg35499] Factoring problem
  • From: Adriano Pascoletti <pascolet at>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 02:08:49 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


use FullSimplify:

FullSimplify[y^4 - (p + q)*y^3 + (p^2*q + p*q^2)*y - p^2*q^2]


(p - y)*(-q + y)*(p*q - y^2)

Adriano Pascoletti

At 4:50 -0400 16-07-2002, Steven Hodgen wrote:
>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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