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Re: Complete Factorization?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg7152] Re: [mg7128] Complete Factorization?
  • From: "C. Woll" <carlw at>
  • Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 01:57:50 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On Sun, 11 May 1997, Thomas Skipper wrote:

> Does anyone know why MMA would not be able to completely factor this:
> 2xy-4y^2?
> MMA will only factor out the 2, not the reamaining y, and consistently
> leaves only 2(xy-2y^2) Is there a reason why it won't completely
> factor this to 2y(x-2y)? The MMA book says that "Factor" performs a 
> "complete" factorization, but obviously that is not the case.
> Iguess the main question is, will MMA completely factor a polynomial
> or not, and if so, what is the command that WILL perform a complete
> factorization?
Hi Thomas,

It tried it out, and Mma had no problems factorizing your expression, so
my guess is that you gave Mma the input

2 xy - 4 y^2

and not

2 x y -4 y^2.

That is, Mma interpreted your xy as a single variable and not the product
of x and y.


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