# Questions tagged [elementary-algebra]

Elementary algebra, also called algebra precalculus, is the mathematical field studying basic properties of linear, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, rational, and trigonometric functions, graphs, and the solving of equations and systems of equations.

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### The Root of a Geometric Progression

Good people! I'm presently in the process of putting something together on Euler and Gauss and cyclotomy and modular arithmetic, and I noticed that when it comes to the terminology primitive root ...
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### What is the origin of the method of undetermined coefficients?

This MSE post asked about a specific integration technique that appears to be attributed to Charles Hermite, per a comment. The OP's source calls the technique el método alemán, i.e. the German method....
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### Exploring problems about quadratic function (in one variable) across the ages

I'm looking for problems about quadratic function across the ages. For example, in the Babylonian civilization, there are problems which are related with quadratic equation. Besides that, the concept ...
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### How were the phenomena relating to symmetric polynomials discovered?

The "fundamental theorem of symmetric polynomials" states that any symmetric polynomial can be expressed as a polynomial in the elementary symmetric polynomials. This, or at least variants on it or ...
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### Was 18th century algebra more symbolic/formal than the modern conception?

I've found Lagrange's Sur la résolution des équations algébriques to be a very confusing and difficult read, and I think I'm starting to see why: it seems that Lagrange thinks of algebra in a much ...
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### Does anyone know about Ramanujan's method of solving the quartic?

I have read (probably) in Kanigel's book The Man Who Knew Infinity that S. Ramanujan devised his own method of solving the Quartic Equation after he learnt to solve the Cubic Equation. Does anyone ...
684 views

### Why does the "Principle Of Permanence" have two different definitions?

This question is a sub-question of previous question on MSE. I feel that on this website I have better chances of knowing more things. For quite some time now, I have been searching about the "...
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### Was the "polynomial remainder theorem" known before polynomial long division was discovered?

Nowadays we can easily prove the following fact using polynomial long division: If $a$ is a root of the polynomial $f$, then there exists a polynomial $g$ such that $f(x) = (x - a)g(x)$. I can't ...
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### What does Lagrange mean in this passage from Reflexions sur la résolution?

I'm having difficulty with section 6 of Lagrange's Réfléxions sur la résolution algébrique des équations. That's page 11 of the paper, 215 of his Oeuvres. Annoyingly, this is one of the most critical ...
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### When was the method of getting square roots (invented by Viète in 1610 and developed by Harriot in 1631) first taught to school children?

François Viète's On the Numerical Resolution of Powers by Exegetics published in 1610 (Viete, 2006, pp. 311-370) introduced one way of numerically solving polynomial equations, a special case of which ...
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