Education Technology

Going Back To Your Roots

Published on 07/01/2010

Activity Overview

In this activity, students apply the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra in determining the complex roots of polynomial functions. The theorem is applied both algebraically and graphically, utilizing features of TI-Nspire CAS technology to enhance student understanding.

Key Steps

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    Students are to graph the functions and use the Intersection Point(s) and Coordinates and Equations tools to determine the roots. Page 1.5 introduces the multiplicity of each root. Make sure that students understand that multiplicity is the number of times a factor shows up in a polynomial.

    Students should notice that the multiplicities of all roots or zeros add up to the degree of the polynomial. The degree is the highest power on the variable in the expanded form of the polynomial.