Discussion about math, puzzles, games and fun. Useful symbols: ÷ × ½ √ ∞ ≠ ≤ ≥ ≈ ⇒ ± ∈ Δ θ ∴ ∑ ∫ π -¹ ² ³ °

You are not logged in.

- Topics: Active | Unanswered

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

I think the way it should be is if we have a number a, we can't say it is a coefficient. 2 is not a coefficient. However, I think we can say that 2 is a coefficient of 2x^0.

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

2 can be a coefficient based on the context.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

How about this:

2

Is that a coefficient? I think most people would say 2 on it's own is not one (that's just my thinking).

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

Hm, then how would you say that 2 is a coefficient when you write 2x+1?

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

I would say that 2 is a coefficient of x in that expression.

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

Then I could say that 1 is the coefficient f x^0 in that polynomial.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

Me too. But I wouldn't say 1 on it's on is a coefficient.

According to Wikipedia

Wikipedia wrote:

For instance in 7x^2-3xy+1.5+y the first two terms respectively have the coefficients 7 and −3. The third term 1.5 is a constant.

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

Well, then you couodn't say 2 is a coefficient when talking about the same expression.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

This is what I mean

in 2x + 1, 2 is a coefficient of x

However, 1 is not a coefficient - it is a constant.

In 2x + 1x^2 though, both 2 and 1 are coefficients.

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

MathsIsFun wrote:

What does everyone think about that?

To be honest, it isn't too big of an issue. Such terminology discrepancies occur all the time and it is just a matter of convention (e.g. in the UK they use R^d instead of R^n like here in the US in real analysis).

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

That's true. There's no exact notation for the Stirling numbers, for example.

The R^whatever does not seem like too much a problem either, considering it's the R that matters.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

And I don't think a student will get a mark off on a test for saying 2 is a coefficient or isn't.

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

True. It's very dependant on the content. And it's a very narrow concept, seeing hiw I haven't noticed it being used anywhere besides in polynomials and binomial expansions.

*Last edited by anonimnystefy (2014-06-13 12:08:38)*

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline

Hmm.. From what I know is : If we have 3xy and the question ask what is the coefficient of y then my answer is 3x.

And another example, if we have 34abc and the question ask find the coefficient of 34 then it's abc.

It's not how good you are. It's how good you want to be - Paul Arden

Offline

**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,515

Here, we have two different names. The numerical coefficient of 34 in 34abc is abc and the literal coefficient of 34 in 34abc is abc.

Offline

**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 84,454

Hi;

MIF wrote:

What does everyone think about that?

Write the definition you like and whomever disagrees, kill them.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.I have the result, but I do not yet know how to get it.All physicists, and a good many quite respectable mathematicians are contemptuous about proof.**

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

Yay, constructive crticism!

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline

**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 84,454

No dissent allowed, like in the Middle Ages. What a great time to be alive that must have been.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.I have the result, but I do not yet know how to get it.All physicists, and a good many quite respectable mathematicians are contemptuous about proof.**

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

It depends on perspective.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline

**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,535

I have updated the definition to this:

I wrote:

Coefficient

A number used to multiply a variable.

Example: 6z means 6 times z, and "z" is a variable, so 6 is a coefficient.

Sometimes a letter stands in for the number.

Example: In ax² + bx + c, "x" is a variable, and "a" and "b" are coefficients.

Let me know if you feel it can be improved.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

Offline

A number used to multiply a variable

Use instead: Something used to multiply the concerned variable

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'

'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'

'Humanity is still kept intact. It remains within.' -Alokananda

Offline

**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,343

Yes, that way, the definition encompasses stuff like (k^2+1)x+2.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Offline