Definition: A polynomial is an algebraic expression that has many (poly) terms (nomial). The exponent of any variable must not be negative.

Click on the image to go to the mathisfun page for examples:

Any of our whole numbers an be expressed as a polynomial. For example the number 3457 could be written with four terms, as follows:

    \begin{align*}&3457\\&=3000+400+50+7\\&=3\times 1000 + 4\times 100+ 5 \times 10 + 7 \times 1\\&=3 \times 10^3 + 4 \times 10^2 + 5 \times 10^1 + 7 \\&=3x^3+4x^2+5x+7, \quad \text{where }x=10\end{align*}

Have a look at this prezi to see some examples of how polynomials are used in different careers:

Here are some examples of graphs of polynomials.

In the applet, you see the smooth curve, the polynomial written in standard form (terms added together) and the polynomial written in factored form (terms multiplied together).

In this course, we draw, analyse and see some applications of linear functions. (Units 5, 6 and 7)

We also learn to write the standard and the factored form of quadratic functions, (this unit) but we leave studying their graphs until grade 11.

In grade 12 math, we study the whole family of polynomials.

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