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Math Help - simplify question

  1. #1
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    simplify question

    I don't know if this is particular part is calculus or not but this was on a calculus test. It was the last step of a third derivative question. I lost a mark because the teacher says (x^2-1)/x^2 is more simplified than 1-(1/x^2).. is this fair? Is there an official rule that states (x^2-1)/x^2 is more simplified? This is making a common denominator for no damn reason, nothing cancels and it looks more complicated than before. Normally I wouldn't care about one mark but I was getting 100 in the course and that section was only out of 8 so now my mark is going to plummet for no reason.. -_-
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  2. #2
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    Re: simplify question

    no, i would not consider \frac{x^2 -1}{x^2} to be simpler than 1-x^{-2}. in fact i think the opposite.

    Of course, your teacher is probably a maths professor or something, and im not. and he sets the marks, so probably best to go with what he says
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  3. #3
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    Re: simplify question

    Quote Originally Posted by SpringFan25 View Post
    no, i would not consider \frac{x^2 -1}{x^2} to be simpler than 1-x^{-2}. in fact i think the opposite.

    Of course, your teacher is probably a maths professor or something, and im not. and he sets the marks, so probably best to go with what he says
    just clarifying, i wrote 1-1/x^2 not 1-1/x^(-2) (i know negative exponents aren't allowed)

    he's not a professor he's just a high school teacher..

    is there anything solid i can say to convince my teacher? because obviously everyone else that did this also lost a mark so i have to convince him really good because he'll have to change everyone else's tests too which is a pain for him.. so unless i convince him fully it's not going to happen..

    i was planning on saying since the teacher said always simplify before taking the next derivative, i was going to say using my form is easier to take the derivative therefore more simplified, any other ideas?
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  4. #4
    s3a
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    Re: simplify question

    I think the (x^2 - 1)/x^2 can be said to be "simpler" because it involves only positive exponents however, yours is "simpler" in the sense that it's easier to work with in Calculus for derivative and integral evaluations and I think this so-called rule is ambiguous enough that it can be argued. I think arguing the derivative/integral evaluation simplicity could work. If not, arguing that there is no quotient but just two terms is another option. I find losing marks for that being ridiculous. Ask him to prove himself right by citing something credible.
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