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A Quadratic Equation (in Standard Form) looks like:

A Quadratic Equation in Standard Form

(a, b, and c can have any value, except that a can't be 0.)
That is an equation (=) but sometimes we need to solve inequalities like these:




greater than

x2 + 3x > 2
7x2 < 28
5 x2 x
2y2 + 1 7y

less than
greater than or equal to
less than or equal to

Solving inequalities is very like solving equations ... we do most of the same

When solving equations we try to find points,

such as the ones marked "=0"

But when we solve inequalities we try to find interval(s),

such as the one marked "<0"
So this is what we do:

find the "=0" points

in between the "=0" points, are intervals that are either

greater than zero (>0), or

less than zero (<0)

then pick a test value to find out which it is (>0 or <0)

Here is an example:

Example: x2 x 6 < 0
x2 x 6 has these simple factors (because I wanted to make it easy!):

(x+2)(x3) < 0

Firstly, let us find where it is equal to zero:

(x+2)(x3) = 0

It is equal to zero when

x = 2 or x = +3

because when x = 2, then (x+2) is zero

and when x = +3, then (x3) is zero

So between 2 and +3, the function will either be

always greater than zero, or

always less than zero

We don't know which ... yet!

Let's pick a value in-between and test it:

At x=0: x2 x 6 = 0 0 6
= 6

So between 2 and +3, the function is less than zero.

And that is the region we want, so...

x2 x 6 < 0

in the interval

(2, 3)

Note: x2 x 6 > 0 on the interval (,2) and (3, +)

And here is the plot of x2 x 6:

The equation equals zero at 2 and 3

The inequality "<0" is true between 2 and


What If It Doesn't Go Through Zero?

Here is the plot of x2 x + 1

There are no "=0" points!

But that makes things easier!

Because the line does not cross through y=0, it must be either:

always > 0, or

always < 0

So all we have to do is test one value (say x=0) to see if it is above or below.

Polynomials inequalities Example 1 Graph:

Step 1: Write the polynomial in the
correct form. The polynomial must be
written in descending order and must
be less than, greater than, less than or
equal to, or greater than or equal to
Step 2: Find the key or critical values.
To find the key/critical values, set the
equation equal to zero and solve.
Step 3: Make a sign analysis chart. To
make a sign analysis chart, use the
key/critical values found in Step 2 to
divide the number line into sections.
Step 4: Perform the sign analysis. To
do the sign analysis, pick one number
from each of the sections created in
Step 3 and plug that number into the
polynomial to determine the sign of the
resulting answer. In this case, you can
choose x = 3 which results in +7, x =
0 which results in 8, and x = 5 which
results in +7.
Step 5: Use the sign analysis chart to
determine which sections satisfy the
inequality. In this case, we have greater
than or equal to zero, so we want all of
the positive sections.
Step 6: Use interval notation to write
the final answer.

a to b,

, or a : b.

A ratio is a quotient of two quantities. The ratio of the number

a to the number b is written

When ratios are used in comparing units of measure, the units should be the same.

1 3

2 6

A proportion is a statement that says that two ratios are equal.

a c

b d
(b 0, d 0),
In the proportion
a, b, c, and d are the terms of the proportion. The a and d terms are called the
extremes and the b and c terms are called the means.

Determinant Expansion by Minors

Also known as "Laplacian" determinant expansion by minors, expansion by minors is a technique for computing
the determinant of a given square matrix . Although efficient for small matrices, techniques such as Gaussian
elimination are much more efficient when the matrix size becomes large.

denote the determinant of a matrix

, then


is a so-called minor of

For example, for a

, obtained by taking the determinant of

with row and column

"crossed out."

matrix, the above formula gives


The procedure can then be iteratively applied to calculate the minors in terms of subminors, etc. The factor
sometimes absorbed into the minor as


in which case

is called a cofactor.

The equation for the determinant can also be formally written as


ranges over all permutations of


is the inversion number of

Application of Determinant to Systems: Cramer's Rule

We have seen that determinant may be useful in finding the inverse of a nonsingular
matrix. We can use these findings in solving linear systems for which the matrix
coefficient is nonsingular (or invertible).
Consider the linear system (in matrix form)

where A is the matrix coefficient, B the nonhomogeneous term,

and X the unknown column-matrix. We have:
Theorem. The linear system AX = B has a unique solution if and only if A is
invertible. In this case, the solution is given by the so-called Cramer's formulas:

where xi are the unknowns of the system or the entries of X, and the
matrix Ai is obtained from A by replacing the ith column by the
column B. In other words, we have

where the bi are the entries of B.

In particular, if the linear system AX = B is homogeneous, meaning
, then
if A is invertible, the only solution is the trivial one, that is
. So if we are
looking for a nonzero solution to the system, the matrix coefficient Amust be singular
or noninvertible. We also know that this will happen if and only if
is an important result.

. This

Example. Solve the linear system

Answer. First note that

which implies that the matrix coefficient is invertible. So we may use

the Cramer's formulas. We have

We leave the details to the reader to find

Note that it is easy to see that z=0. Indeed, the determinant which
gives z has two identical rows (the first and the last). We do
encourage you to check that the values found for x, y, and z are
indeed the solution to the given system.
Remark. Remember that Cramer's formulas are only valid for linear systems with an
invertible matrix coefficient.