Maxima Manual. Node: Introduction to Polynomials

## 4.1: Introduction to Polynomials

Polynomials are stored in maxima either in General Form or as Cannonical Rational Expressions (CRE) form. The latter is a standard form, and is used internally by operations such as factor, ratsimp, and so on.

Canonical Rational Expressions constitute a kind of representation which is especially suitable for expanded polynomials and rational functions (as well as for partially factored polynomials and rational functions when RATFAC[FALSE] is set to TRUE). In this CRE form an ordering of variables (from most to least main) is assumed for each expression. Polynomials are represented recursively by a list consisting of the main variable followed by a series of pairs of expressions, one for each term of the polynomial. The first member of each pair is the exponent of the main variable in that term and the second member is the coefficient of that term which could be a number or a polynomial in another variable again represented in this form. Thus the principal part of the CRE form of 3*X^2-1 is (X 2 3 0 -1) and that of 2*X*Y+X-3 is (Y 1 (X 1 2) 0 (X 1 1 0 -3)) assuming Y is the main variable, and is (X 1 (Y 1 2 0 1) 0 -3) assuming X is the main variable. "Main"-ness is usually determined by reverse alphabetical order. The "variables" of a CRE expression needn't be atomic. In fact any subexpression whose main operator is not + - * / or ^ with integer power will be considered a "variable" of the expression (in CRE form) in which it occurs. For example the CRE variables of the expression X+SIN(X+1)+2*SQRT(X)+1 are X, SQRT(X), and SIN(X+1). If the user does not specify an ordering of variables by using the RATVARS function MACSYMA will choose an alphabetic one. In general, CRE's represent rational expressions, that is, ratios of polynomials, where the numerator and denominator have no common factors, and the denominator is positive. The internal form is essentially a pair of polynomials (the numerator and denominator) preceded by the variable ordering list. If an expression to be displayed is in CRE form or if it contains any subexpressions in CRE form, the symbol /R/ will follow the line label. See the RAT function for converting an expression to CRE form. An extended CRE form is used for the representation of Taylor series. The notion of a rational expression is extended so that the exponents of the variables can be positive or negative rational numbers rather than just positive integers and the coefficients can themselves be rational expressions as described above rather than just polynomials. These are represented internally by a recursive polynomial form which is similar to and is a generalization of CRE form, but carries additional information such as the degree of truncation. As with CRE form, the symbol /T/ follows the line label of such expressions.

Polynomials Polynomials Definitions for Polynomials