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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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.

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
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2 can be a coefficient based on the context.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
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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).

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
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Hm, then how would you say that 2 is a coefficient when you write 2x+1?

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
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Then I could say that 1 is the coefficient f x^0 in that polynomial.

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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.

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
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Well, then you couodn't say 2 is a coefficient when talking about the same expression.

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
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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).

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
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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.

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,891

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)*

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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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.

God oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble.

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,640

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.

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 92,964

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.**

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,891

Yay, constructive crticism!

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 92,964

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.**

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,891

It depends on perspective.

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,559

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

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A number used to multiply a variable

Use instead: Something used to multiply the concerned variable

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,891

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

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

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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