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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
- Posts: 3,555

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
- Posts: 3,555

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?

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

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

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

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

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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.

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.

- Carl Sagan

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**ShivamS****Member**- Registered: 2011-02-07
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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: 87,237

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.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
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Yay, constructive crticism!

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
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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.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
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It depends on perspective.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
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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
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Yes, that way, the definition encompasses stuff like (k^2+1)x+2.

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