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Multiplying Complicated Polynomials - Problem 2

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

When you need to multiply two trinomials (or any time you're multiplying long polynomials,) it is critical that you organize your work and be precise with exponents. Remember that when multiplying two terms, you multiply the coefficients, but add the exponents (like 2 x^4 times 3 x^5 = 6x^9 .) Here we look at three ways to organize your work and help keep track of "like terms-" triple distributing, aligning like terms vertically, and drawing a box to show a geometric interpretation of length times width = area. We suggest that you experiment with all three until you find a method that works best for you.

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