Introduction

The following definitions are terms that will be used in this unit:

A polynomial is composed of multiple terms added together that contain only positive integer exponents. Polynomials will not have variables in the denominator. Coefficients must be real numbers.

A term is a number or the product of a number and one or more variables.

A variable is the unknown quantity represented by a letter.

A constant is a number without a variable.

A coefficient is the number in front of the variable in each term. If there is a subtraction sign, then the coefficient after the sign is negative.

The coefficient on the leading term is called the leading coefficient. In the polynomial, -3x2 + x - 4, the leading coefficient is -3.

The degree of a polynomial is the degree of the term with the greatest exponent. The polynomial, -3x2 + x - 4, is a second degree polynomial because the squared term is the largest exponent.

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