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Math Help - Need help with function problem

  1. #1
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    Need help with function problem

    I am totally stuck on a problem (mid year final review) and I can't find help anywhere on the internet. Could someone help me understand how to go about solving the problem? I know that there are 3 different questions here, but they are all related. I'm stressing out about this test in a big way so I would HUGELY appreciate a little help so I can move past this problem and start studying something else. I can't figure out how to do exponents here, so the small #s are exponents.

    Given: f(x)=X3 - X2 - 2X

    a) what is the degree of the function
    b) How many zeros does this function have
    c) Factor the function to find its three factors
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Siron's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with function problem

    Given: f(x)=x^3-x^2-2x

    What have you tried? Where are you stuck?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need help with function problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jenny1201 View Post
    I am totally stuck on a problem (mid year final review) and I can't find help anywhere on the internet. Could someone help me understand how to go about solving the problem? I know that there are 3 different questions here, but they are all related. I'm stressing out about this test in a big way so I would HUGELY appreciate a little help so I can move past this problem and start studying something else. I can't figure out how to do exponents here, so the small #s are exponents.

    Given: f(x)=X3 - X2 - 2X

    a) what is the degree of the function
    b) How many zeros does this function have
    c) Factor the function to find its three factors
    A) The degree of the function is the same as the largest exponent (power of x). For example ax^2+bx+c=0 is second order.

    B) This is nearly always the same as the degree.

    C) Start by factoring out the common factor of x. Then apply the null factor law
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  4. #4
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    Re: Need help with function problem

    I got as far as to find the GCF (I think) which is x(x^2-x-2). Then I get stuck as to how to factor from there. Thanks so much for the help thus far. You guys are lifesavers. My test is tomorrow and this is the only thing I am stuck on.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Need help with function problem

    x^2-x-2=(x-a_1)(x-a_2) where a_1 and a_2 are the roots of the quadratic equation x^2-x-2=0.
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