My Math Forum What does "to factor" really mean ?

 Elementary Math Fractions, Percentages, Word Problems, Equations, Inequations, Factorization, Expansion

 May 13th, 2017, 04:37 PM #1 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 What does "to factor" really mean ? Is it same as Factoring ?
May 13th, 2017, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by porchgirl Is it same as Factoring ?
Yes, it's the same as factoring.

 May 13th, 2017, 04:55 PM #3 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 Thanks. Factors are numbers you multiply together to get another number. So in a question like that I am supposed to find the factors? Last edited by skipjack; May 14th, 2017 at 12:24 PM.
 May 13th, 2017, 05:17 PM #4 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 This term factor is used at a lot of places, isn't it? In simplifying fractions whole number whole numbers fraction fractions When solving Algebraic expressions Algebraic Equations Last edited by skipjack; May 14th, 2017 at 12:25 PM.
 May 14th, 2017, 05:16 AM #5 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 Do you simplify Algebraic expressions or do you factor Algebraic expressions? I am trying to learn something in some order, I thought Ii would learn math in this order: Simplify fractions first Simplify Algebraic expressions Factor Algebraic equations Are these the correct terms to use? Last edited by skipjack; May 14th, 2017 at 12:26 PM.
 May 14th, 2017, 10:08 AM #6 Senior Member   Joined: May 2008 Posts: 258 Thanks: 50 Beer soaked questions follow. How old are you and what is your present level of education?
 May 14th, 2017, 11:08 AM #7 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 I was a B.Sc. computer science student. I lost the numerical methods subjects, therefore I am doing a commerce degree, and I am still trying to improve math from scratch. Last edited by skipjack; May 14th, 2017 at 12:27 PM.
 May 14th, 2017, 12:33 PM #8 Senior Member   Joined: May 2008 Posts: 258 Thanks: 50 Beer soaked ramblings follow. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of a former student of computer science (a branch of mathematics) who's having a hard time with basic math. Nonetheless, good luck with your present quest.
 May 15th, 2017, 07:11 AM #9 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 Thanks for the reply , Yea my syllabus sort of started out with set theory in the first semester .Then it suddenly moved to numerical methods in the second semester .It was sort of tough that way Nowadays i am mostly trying to clear some basic math doubts like where and when to use ,Factors , GCF , LCM etc When simplifying Algebraic expression or solving Algebraic equations do we make use of Prime factorization or simply factors ? Last edited by porchgirl; May 15th, 2017 at 07:20 AM.
 May 15th, 2017, 10:57 AM #10 Member     Joined: Aug 2016 From: afghanistan Posts: 55 Thanks: 1 This is from some text , Factors of natural numbers You will remember what you learnt about factors in Class VI. Let us take a natural number, say 30, and write it as a product of other natural numbers, say 30 = 2 × 15 = 3 × 10 = 5 × 6 Thus, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 15 and 30 are the factors of 30. Of these, 2, 3 and 5 are the prime factors of 30 (Why?) A number written as a product of prime factors is said to be in the prime factor form; for example, 30 written as 2 × 3 × 5 is in the prime factor form. The prime factor form of 70 is 2 × 5 × 7. The prime factor form of 90 is 2 × 3 × 3 × 5, and so on. Similarly, we can express algebraic expressions as products of their factors. This is what we shall learn to do in this chapter. Factors of algebraic expressions We have seen in Class VII that in algebraic expressions, terms are formed as products of factors. For example, in the algebraic expression 5xy + 3x the term 5xy has been formed by the factors 5, x and y, i.e., 5xy = 5 * x * y Observe that the factors 5, x and y of 5xy cannot further be expressed as a product of factors. We may say that 5, x and y are ‘prime’ factors of 5xy. In algebraic expressions, we use the word ‘irreducible’ in place of ‘prime’. We say that 5 × x × y is the irreducible form of 5xy. Note 5 × (xy) is not an irreducible form of 5xy, since the factor xy can be further expressed as a product of x and y, i.e., xy = x × y. What is Factorisation? When we factorise an algebraic expression, we write it as a product of factors. These factors may be numbers, algebraic variables or algebraic expressions. Expressions like 3xy, 5x2y , 2x (y + 2), 5 (y + 1) (x + 2) are already in factor form. Their factors can be just read off from them, as we already know. On the other hand consider expressions like 2x + 4, 3x + 3y, x2 + 5x, x2 + 5x + 6. It is not obvious what their factors are. We need to develop systematic methods to factorise these expressions, i.e., to find their factors. This is what we shall do now Method of common factors Factorisation by regrouping terms Factorisation using identities Factors of the form ( x + a) ( x + b) Unfortunately this method is not mentioned in the text book . There is no example like this in that text book . What is this method really called ? ?

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