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Math Help - simple question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Berkeley, California
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    simple question

    Well, perhaps not so simple for me...but maybe for you?

    How can s^2 - 2s + 2 be equal to (s-1)^2 + 1 ?

    I see what's going on here but how am supposed to look at the term on the left and say "Ah! Why don't I turn it into the term on the right?"

    Thanks for looking!
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  2. #2
    Newbie
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    Well, since (s-1)^2 shares the s^2 and the -2s and +1 terms with RHS, the only lag would be +1, so you add that.
    Or s^2-2s=s(s-1) - s. So to make it into a full square, i.e, s(s-1) - 1(s-1) = s(s-1) - s +1, so we have to subtract 1 from the LHS, i.e add 1 to the RHS.
    Is this the kind of answer you are looking for?
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  3. #3
    MHF Contributor
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBerkeleyBoss View Post
    How can s^2 - 2s + 2 be equal to (s-1)^2 + 1 ?
    Has your class covered "completing the square" yet (in particular, for finding the vertex of a parabola)?
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